Oregon drivers are responsible for traveling approximately 33.4 billion vehicle miles annually, at a cost of $1.4 billion in gas, resulting in 14.1 million metric tons of CO2. Join Oregonians across the state in reducing those numbers by eliminating ½ million vehicle miles traveled – one trip at a time – in just 12 days during the Oregon Drive Less Challenge. From October 21 through November 1, anyone can participate in the Drive Less Challenge by trying a sustainable commute like creating a carpool, joining a vanpool, teleworking, hailing the bus, taking a walk, riding your bike, or any other means you can imagine. Any saved trip will help create a healthier environment and population here in Central Oregon while helping to achieve the Challenge’s ultimate goal.
The Challenge is easy. Simply create an account at DriveLessConnect.com/Challenge and begin logging any trips where you substituted a drive alone trip with a sustainable one. Drive Less Connect is a statewide database that allows people to log saved trips and keep track of how much they have saved in fuel, money, and CO2 emissions. Once your account is created, you can log trips throughout the year. The 12-day Drive Less Challenge replaces Commute Options’ previous annual event, Commute Options Week, in which businesses (and their employees) challenged one another to save the most trips.
“The Oregon Drive Less Challenge is the evolution of Commute Options Week,” said Kim Curley, community outreach coordinator for Commute Options. “We are a very mobile state and by joining together in this Challenge, we are striving to create a consistent message that encompasses the entire state,” she said.
“I’m most excited to include everyone in this year’s Challenge, because every trip counts for winning prizes,” said Curley. Anyone can save a trip, whether it is by riding a bike to the store, walking to a friend’s house, carpooling to the movie theater. “Even kids who take the school bus instead of being driven to school by a parent are eligible,” said Curley.
Like Commute Options Week before, the Challenge also presents a framework for employers to encourage employees to come up with ways to commute that do not mean driving alone. “For business owners and managers, the Drive Less Challenge is a great way to promote team work and introduce employees to healthy and less expensive commute options,” said Curley. If you have never tried transit, always wanted to try biking or walking to work, or are curious about carpooling, now is the time to try a sustainable commute! Your one saved trip will help to keep your state green and may turn in to a healthy habit for years to come.
Visit www.DriveLessConnect.com/Challenge and pledge to take the Oregon Drive Less Challenge.
By Annissa Anderson for Commute Options
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Commute Options promotes choices that reduce the impacts of driving alone. For more information about Commute Options, contact Jeff Monson, Executive Director of Commute Options at 541/330-2647 or visit www.commuteoptions.org.
Annissa Anderson is a freelance writer and PR consultant in Bend.