‘Change Your Mode for March’ by Wendy Johnson
I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I need a bit of a push to shift the way I move. Actually, sometimes a shove. A focus. A motivator. And a focus and motivator is exactly what the new ‘Change your mode for March’ challenge is all about.
The brainchild of Actsmart, an online hub that helps us create a more sustainable future in the capital, ‘Change your mode for March’ challenges us to do our bit for the environment by parking our vehicles for 31 days and walking, cycling or taking a bus—to work, do chores, or socialise.
Better still, the challenges help you in other ways—improve your health by being active, save money on petrol and parking (not to mention wear and tear on your vehicle), and help the environment by saving transport emissions.
Before you scratch your head on the transport emissions bit, consider this. While the ACT is leading the nation and is on track to meet its 90 per cent renewable energy target by 2020, it needs to address emissions from the transport sector. That’s because transport is one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gases in Canberra.
We need to get a handle on these nasty emissions before they get a handle on us, through traffic congestion, air pollution, and an even greater negative impact on climate change. And that includes the short trips so many of us make in our car, to pop to the shops, drop the kids off to a nearby school, or head to a destination that is literally around the corner.
‘Change your mode for March’ is free, easy and fun. Compete as an individual or get together a team of friends or colleagues and simply:
- register online (actsmart.act.gov.au)
- visit the website each week during March to record how much active travel you’ve completed (you can download a phone app to track your distance)
- watch the website calculate the number of emissions you’ve saved through active travel
- watch your progress on the leader board (you might even win one of the few prizes up for grabs).
To take the challenge you absolutely must register by 5pm on 29 February.
There are no restrictions on how much or little you do. If you can’t shift the way you move all 31 days in March, do as many as you can. Any distance counts—1km, 2km, 3km or more.
If you need free resources to help you plan, just head to www.actsmart.act.gov.au Actsmart will even guide you to a free walking and cycling map as well as to Park and Ride information, Bike and Ride information and a handy tracker called NXTBus which tells you where your bus is and when the next one will arrive.
LFW is moving it in March—are you?
‘CC’ images courtesy Actsmart