With the return of sunshine, butterflies and flowers, you know what time it is. That’s right, it’s time to challenge your co-workers to a winner-takes-all competition to see who can be the leanest, greenest commuter!

Of course, we are talking about a friendly competition. When it comes to shifting drive-alone trips to healthy, sustainable modes, everyone’s a winner. Spring is an excellent time to encourage friends and colleagues to try a new form of commuting.  

The Commuter Challenge takes place from June 4th to 10th across Canada! This means you can challenge family members and colleagues in other provinces and territories. In 2016, Manitoba was the top province, can we do it again in 2017? We’ll need your participation to ensure Manitoba stays on top! Here are four great reasons to sign up to participate:

Environmental – Commuting by car is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases (GHG) in Manitoba. GHGs are the leading cause of climate change and air pollution. Manitoba has an incredibly high percentage of drive-alone commutes, nearly 80%. We know we can do better, but we need you to give another mode of transportation a try.

Financial – According to the CAA, the average cost to own and operate a vehicle can range from $8,500-$11,500 or higher each year based on the typical 18,000 km driven. By converting some of drive-alone trips to carpooling, transit, walking and biking, you can save! Also, consider the financial savings in terms of health care costs and the burden of road repairs, bridges and parking spaces that can be saved by reducing the number of citizens driving alone.

Health – A recent Manitobans in Motion survey indicated less than half of Manitobans get the recommended amount of physical activity. Using active and sustainable transportation – like walking, cycling and riding the bus – allows people to incorporate at least some physical activity into their everyday commute. It’s also a great stress reliever.

Prizes – Participation means you are entered to win!

The opportunity for friendly competition and group activity doesn’t stop there! To get the ball rolling in April, challenge your friends and family to leave their cars at home on Earth Day (April 22nd). Want to try cycle commuting? Be sure to also take part in Bike Week (June 17-23rd), as the event is loaded with workshops and events to help you improve your journey. And why not try incorporating healthy, sustainable activity into your day, not just your commute. On Clean Air Day, June 17th, ditch the office for Walking Meetings. The fresh air and office break can really get the creative juices flowing.  

The opportunities to use friendly competition to bring your colleagues, family and friends together to try healthy, sustainable commuting are endless. Connect with us in the Workplace Commuter Options program at Green Action Centre to learn more.