It’s finally spring! This time of year always warms the heart. The flowers and trees begin to blossom, the days gradually get longer and I notice myself and our neighbors venturing out more often from our homes. It’s incredibly refreshing to finally be able to soak up some warm rays.
Every spring I challenge myself to be more active, spend more time outside and ride my bike to work. And a great place to start my healthier and more sustainable commute is during the annual Holland/Zeeland Green Commute Week, now in its 10th year. The week-long commute challenge takes place Monday, May 14 through May 20. It promotes walking, biking, carpooling, riding the bus and any other alternative transportation.
During the week, teams from businesses track their Green Commute miles online to compete for bragging rights and a trophy. Getting the entire workplace involved is a wonderful way to promote healthy living and a healthy planet, but also the friendly competition can be a great team-building exercise.
Individual commuters not affiliated with a business can also submit their miles on the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council’s website to contribute to the overall total. At the end of the week, the Green Commute miles are totaled to calculate air quality and financial benefits to the community.
An added perk for Green Commute Week participants are Recharging Stations. These are local businesses giving discounts on things like coffee and food purchases, bike tune-ups, and free rides on MAX Transit’s fixed route service. (Find an interactive map showing the stations on the Green Commute web page.) Also this year, the Herrick District Library on River Avenue will have a photo-booth set up for anyone who green commutes.
To be eligible for discounts, participants must wear a Green Commute pin, available at the MACC office on Douglas Avenue, from any local bike shop or through an employer that is pre-registered.
To sign up your place of work or get more information about the commute challenge, call the MACC at 616-395-2688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Carolyn Ulstad is program assistant at the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council.