The 2016 Green Commute Challenge kicks off June 1. During the next 12 weeks, employer-based teams will record the miles they commute by carpool, vanpool, bus, streetcar, bike and walking, as well as miles they save by telecommuting to earn points and become eligible for daily, weekly and monthly prize drawings.
Have you ever thought about using alternative transportation? Here are five reasons why you should:
You’ll be in good company
So far, 36 companies have signed up for the Green Commute Challenge this year. Some of Kansas City’s top companies like Hallmark, Cerner, HNTB and the University of Kansas Medical Center encourage their employees to participate because they realize the benefits of alternative transportation — reduced need for parking, on-time and less-stressed employees, less congestion on our roads and better air quality.
You’ll save money
A 15-mile round trip daily commute costs roughly $536 a month in gas and vehicle expenses. That will buy you 112 grande caramel macchiatos or 10 iPod shuffles.
You’ll take care of our air
That same commute emits 3,082 pounds of greenhouse gases. During the warm summer months, the chance for ozone pollution increases as emissions from vehicles and other sources react with heat and sunlight. Ozone is harmful for everyone — it can cause coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing — but is especially dangerous for children or people with breathing conditions such as asthma. Fewer cars on the road means less ozone pollution, which means everyone can breathe a bit easier.
You’ll be less stressed
Alternative transportation gets you out from behind the wheel of your car. You can use that time to relax — read, check Facebook, play Clash of Clans or take a quick nap. And people who use active transportation, such as walking or biking, gain the benefit of more steps in their daily commute.
You could win prizes!
All of these alone are excellent reasons, but who doesn’t love to win prizes? Our prizes this year include:
Visit ridesharekc.org to find out more and register for the 2016 Green Commute Challenge.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Strange is Public Affairs Coordinator at Mid-America Regional Council.