Monday, May 16, 2011

The 2011 Commute Green New Hampshire Challenge

Beginning today, May 16, the City of Dover is taking part in the 2011 Commute Green New Hampshire Challenge. This challenge looks to push us to walk, bike, carpool, take transit (bus, train, FasTrans), basically do whatever we can not to commute in a single occupancy vehicle.

The City has formed a team, and has invited volunteers and staff to participate in our team, as we look to lower our carbon footprint, and encourage multi-modal transit in the City. As part of the challenge we are encouraging participants to come to the Dover Transportation Center on Friday, May 20th, to partake in free coffee and breakfast. The coffee has been donated by NH Coffee Roasters and the breakfast by Holy Rosary Credit Union.

C & J Bus lines is participating at both their Dover and Portsmouth locations. They will have coffee and donuts for commuters every day this week to celebrate and encourage commuting.

That's great that we are doing all this, but what is Commute Green New Hampshire?

Commute Green New Hampshire is the annual promotion which encourages commuters to choose healthier and more environmentally-friendly transportation options. It doesn't matter if you are commuting to work, school, shopping or run of the mill trips. If you make the trip, make it green.

According to Commute Green's web site:
· U.S. families spend about $9,000 a year on transportation costs.
· More than 22 percent of all motor vehicle trips Americans take are less than one mile in length, and 50 percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work.
· One car emits about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon of gasoline it uses, but each New Hampshire resident can reduce the equivalent of about taking two cars a year off the road just by carpooling, bicycling, walking or using public transportation three days a week.

That is all impressive, but what is more impressive is how simple it is to make an effort to be more green and to commute with someone else, or using a healthier mode of transportation. It just takes a bit of pre-planning. I know not everyone can walk to work. I know some of you have a longer commute than my one mile (it is uphill both ways), and might not live near your co-workers, but maybe you can make a pact to meet at a park n ride in the middle with a coworker, and figure out a way to commute green part of the trip.

All I ask, and all that the project asks, is that you give it a try this week. Figure out a small way to be part of the challenge and we all will be better off for it.

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