By Matt Davis, RideShare Outreach Coordinator
From June 2 through Aug. 29, commuters from all over the Kansas City region will participate in the seventh annual Green Commute Challenge. The Green Commute Challenge is an employer contest to see whose employees can make the most “green commutes.” To participate, employees choose to get to work by carpooling, taking the bus, bicycling, walking or telecommuting. Any time an employee logs miles for a green commute, he or she will be awarded points and entered to win daily, weekly and monthly prizes. The goal of the Green Commute Challenge is to help improve local air quality while educating commuters about their commuting options.
The summer months are the time of year when our air quality is most vulnerable to pollution. The combination of heat, sunlight and emissions from vehicles, lawn mowers and power plants form to create ground level ozone. Ozone is dangerous to our health, especially to the most vulnerable: the young, elderly and those with health conditions. By limiting the amount we drive, we can take significant steps to protect our local air quality.
In 2013, the Green Commute Challenge had 835 participants who reduced their driving by 999,151 miles. That prevented 963,924 pounds of emissions from entering our atmosphere and saved these commuters a combined $187,878 in driving costs!
The 2014 Challenge is made possible by some very generous sponsors and prize donors. We would like to thank this year’s sponsors, Commerce Bank and Hallmark, and our prize donors: the Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City T-Bones, KC B-Cycle, WWI Museum, Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland, Alamo Drafthouse Theater, Nelson Atkins Museum, Negro Leagues Museum, Powell Gardens and Yoga Patch.
For more information about the Green Commute Challenge, including instructions on how to register as a team or an individual, please email email@example.com, call 816-842-7433 or simply visit RideShareKC.org.