The Commute Green New Hampshire Challenge: Reduce 50,000 Vehicle Miles

AnnMarie French

Commute Green New Hampshire is a statewide initiative designed to encourage individuals to consider green commuting options like walking, biking, carpooling and public transportation during the week of Monday, May 16—Friday, May 20. New Hampshire's eight regional planning commissions are working with citizens, businesses, local governments and organizations to promote the initiative, which coincides with National Bike-Walk to Work Day on Friday, May 20. Commute Green New Hampshire events will be held in communities across the state, and municipalities, schools, organizations and businesses can all play a part in encouraging employees to participate.

The 2011 Commute Green New Hampshire challenge calls on everyone to do their part in reducing 50,000 vehicle miles traveled during the week. The Commute Green website estimates that, should we achieve this goal, New Hampshire residents could save $10,000 in gasoline costs and reduce the need for roughly 100 barrels of crude oil. And, our local and state roads would all benefit from a little less wear and tear. Fewer vehicles would serve to preserve the life of existing roadways and improve air quality at the same time.

Are you up to the challenge? Get involved! Teams and individuals may register at Commute Green New Hampshire to log their mileage reductions online. Teams must register by May 2 to participate in the official competition; individuals may register starting May 16.

The website offers an array of resources to help municipalities, schools and other employers raise awareness in the workplace. It features poster downloads, team organizer guides, links to find carpool partners through New Hampshire Rideshare and regional event listings where employees can get involved where they live or work-or both!

Fewer miles traveled also means fewer trips to the pump. Individuals will realize the benefits of reduced miles immediately. With today's gas prices, that should be music to the ears of all commuters.

And, in this challenge and beyond, all mile reductions matter. Consider green travel options when planning errands and other activities through the week, and log these savings, too.

The LGC's Energy Conservation Committee is spearheading an initiative to encourage staff to reduce vehicle miles traveled during the week. Visitors to LGC on Thursday, May 19, will have the opportunity to participate in a bicycle safety session presented courtesy of neighboring Goodale's Bike Shop, located next door on Triangle Park Drive. Goodale's will offer special drawings during the week; stop in to see for yourself. Watch our home page for more details.

Visit Commute Green New Hampshire to learn more, or contact event organizers at 603.226.6020.

AnnMarie French is a Communications Specialist for New Hampshire Local Government Center. She can be reached at 800.852.3358, ext. 133 or by email.