Whistler is challenging its residents to decrease their carbon footprints this summer 

Whistler Action Day; Maytober Transportation Challenge to highlight alternative transportation options

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO
  • FILE PHOTO

Looking for ways to decrease your carbon footprint this summer?

Consider participating in the Resort Municipality of Whistler's (RMOW) upcoming 'Maytober Transportation Challenge.'

The challenge calls on Whistlerites to switch out one private passenger vehicle trip each week for a lower carbon transportation choice—like walking, public transit, biking or carpooling—from May until October, in an effort to reduce the community's carbon footprint.

According to a RMOW release, emissions from private passenger vehicle trips within Whistler currently make up 57 per cent of Whistler's carbon footprint.

"Climate change is a global issue that we take very seriously in Whistler," said Councillor Arthur De Jong in the release.

"We want to encourage community members to make a change that will have a real impact on what we can do to reduce our community's carbon footprint. We hope that by focusing on how one small step can achieve real results, residents will adopt these changes all year. If each person who owns a car in Whistler made one less trip by vehicle each week throughout the year, we could reduce our greenhouse gas emissions even more."

As a signatory of the BC Climate Action Charter., the RMOW has committed to a 33 per cent reduction in community-wide GHG emissions by 2020; 80 per cent by 2050 and 90 per cent by 2060. Although Whistler has delivered a 17 per cent reduction in GHG emissions since 2007, the resort must continue to cut an additional 3,000 – 4,000 tonnes of GHG emissions each year until 2020 to meet its target.

"At current emission rates, that will not happen," read the release.

The challenge kicks off with "Whistler Action Day," set to take place on May 1 with a pop-up open house at Whistler Olympic Plaza from 3 to 5 p.m. The event will highlight lower carbon transportation options and programs in Whistler.

In addition to Whistler's public transportation system — which includes free travel for kids riding with a paying adult every day, as well as free transit on weekends and holidays from June 28 to September 3 for the third year in a row — Whistler's Valley Trail offers 40 kilometres of paved, car-free travelling.

Bikers are encouraged to take advantage of the secure bike parking available underneath Whistler Public Library as well as the bike valet service at some Village events and the Whistler Farmer's Market throughout the summer.

More information about lower carbon transportation options in Whistler can be found at www.whistler.ca/maytober.

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