News Release
Winnipeg – May 28, 2012
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Manitoba’s green commuters take on a challenge

11 a.m., Tuesday, May 29th
Fort Rouge Rapid Transit Station (corner of Morley Ave and Hugo St S)

Join the Honourable Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, Honourable Jim Rondeau, Minister of Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs, Deputy Mayor Justin Swandel, Challenge participants Amy Tibbs (Winnipeg in motion) and Judy Boville (Assiniboine Credit Union), and Green Action Centre as we celebrate a better way to get to work.

The Commuter Challenge takes place from June 3-9. In 2011, over 7,000 Manitobans used transit, walked, cycled, carpooled, telecommuted or used some other form of green commuting in this annual friendly competition. Individuals who use active and green transportation during the week are eligible to win great prizes!

Says Randall McQuaker, Green Action Centre Executive Director, “We know that some people who try out a new way of getting to work during Challenge Week will continue to choose environmentally-friendly commuting during the rest of the year. Good for them, and good for their health and the environment!”

Winnipeg’s Green Action Centre is your hub for all Commuter Challenge activity. Manitobans can visit www.GreenActionCentre.ca to register and log their green km during Commuter Challenge week. Winnipeg has won gold for our population category in eight of the last nine years and Brandon was also first in 2011.

In the spirit of the Challenge, Minister Rondeau will be joining Green Action Centre and Challenge participants at Bonnycastle Park (southwest corner of Main and Assiniboine) at 10:20 am to cycle to the Launch.

Sponsors of the 2012 Commuter Challenge: The Government of Manitoba, The City of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Transit, Manitoba Hydro, Investor’s Group, Great West Life, Manitoba Public Insurance, Assiniboine Credit Union, Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

Pool sound will be available.

Please see backgrounder below for more information.

Chelsea May, Commuter Challenge Coordinator
Tel. (204) 925-3775

Backgrounder

What is the Commuter Challenge?

The Commuter Challenge is a national sustainable transportation event that encourages workplaces to adopt “green” forms of transportation to get to work! It is a great way to Have Fun, Get Active, Save Money, Breathe Easy and Win Prizes. In 2012, the event takes place from June 3 to 9. The Manitoba Commuter Challenge is organized by Green Action Centre.

How Does It Work?

The Commuter Challenge starts with individuals who are willing to look at their current transportation choices and explore greener commuting alternatives. These alternatives include taking the bus, cycling, walking, carpooling and telecommuting. Manitobans who are up for the challenge or who are already green commuting can register themselves or their workplaces online at http://greenactioncentre.ca/commuterchallenge.

From June 3 to 9, Manitobans who choose green commuting to work can log into the tracking website and enter the kilometres travelled for each green commute. The tracking website records the number of green kilometres travelled, the amount of CO2 avoided, the amount of gas saved and the number of calories burned.

Each individual who participates is entered to win great prizes and the workplaces with the highest participation rates in their population category will also be rewarded. The list of prizes can be viewed here.

Last Year’s Results

Over 7,300 participants at 241 work sites from across the province participated in the 2011 Commuter Challenge in Manitoba! Winnipeg placed first in 2011 in the 500,000–1,000,000 population category in the national Commuter Challenge competition. This is the eighth time that Winnipeg has finished on top in its category! Brandon also won Gold in 2011.

Last year, Manitobans logged an impressive 986,738 green kilometres during the Commuter Challenge week, which translates into 167 tons of GHG emissions avoided, around $71,000 saved in fuel costs and 8,000,000 calories burned for those who chose an active transportation option.

Clean Air Day

June 6th is Clean Air Day. Green Action Centre will be at Bonnycastle Park (corner of Main and Assiniboine) from 6:30 am to 9:00 am to greet pedestrians and cyclists with coffee, juice and a tasty muffin or cinnamon bun.

About Green Action Centre

Green Action Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental hub for greener living based in Winnipeg, serving Manitoba. We are a registered charity, governed by an elected community board. We promote greener living through environmental education and encourage practical green solutions for homeowners, workplaces, schools and communities. You may have met us as Resource Conservation Manitoba before we changed our name in September 2010.

Our primary areas of work are green commuting, composting and waste, sustainable living and resource conservation. Programs and outreach are supported by donations from individuals, grants from foundations and governments and sponsorships.

For more information, please contact:

Chelsea May, Commuter Challenge Coordinator, at (204) 925-3775.