Members of the Queen’s community are encouraged to leave their cars at home June 4-8.
“Finding time in our busy schedules to exercise can be a challenge. Active Commute to Work Week is a great initiative because it promotes the integration of physical activity into our daily routines,” says Sara Montgomery, a research analyst in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning who is promoting the program along with her colleague Roger Healey. “Active commuting also reduces Queen’s carbon footprint as faculty, staff and students produce fewer greenhouse gases getting to campus.”
Active transportation encourages any self-propelled mode such as walking, but also includes the use of public transit, car pools, and partial-drive options. Any active commutes during that week can be recorded, even if it is just one day.
One of the major alternatives to driving is cycling, an option Cycle Kingston will promote on campus during its free Roll-In Breakfast in front of the John Deutsch University Centre on June 4. A local bike shop will also be on hand to do bike safety checks and minor repairs.
“People often don’t cycle because of safety concerns. Cycle Kingston offers educational courses and programs to give people the confidence to ride safely and choose cycling as a transportation option in their daily lives,” says Neal Scott, a professor in the Department of Geography and a board member of Cycle Kingston.
Queen’s is currently developing a Climate Action Plan (CAP) that will set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions the university directly controls. The CAP advisory committee is also examining ways Queen’s can promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that occur as a result of university activities such as commuting and corporate travel. Fourth-year Health Studies students created a website last year as a resource for Queen’s employees interested in learning more about active transportation.
Queen’s community members can register online to track their active commutes any time during June 4-8. When registering, choose Queen’s University as your organization. The emission reductions and fuel cost savings as a result of the active transportation activities will be tabulated using the Commuter Challenge database. Queen’s cumulative results will be compared to the City of Kingston and Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health in a friendly competition.
Active Commute to Work Week coincides with several local and national sustainability initiatives including Cycling Week in Kingston, Canadian Environment Week and Clean Air Day.