On Tuesday, October 15, the Climate Action team had their “Bike,
Walk, Bus” event on campus, where we had prizes for people that commuted to school cleanly. The goal for this whole event was to encourage people to take advantage of all of the alternative means of transportation that can be found in the Durango area. Through informally questioning people on campus, we found some didn’t have a Durango Transit sticker on the back of their Skycard, which inhibits them from taking the transit and is making them lose money. As a transit bus pass is purchased through student fees, by not using it, one is in turn losing money. We registered students at our table with Durango Transit, furthering clean commuting practices and helping students to take advantage of the transit service available to them.
The big attraction for our Climate Action table was the “Bike Blender,” provided to us by Turtle Lake Refuge. This seemed to be a main attractor and good selling point to people in passing. We peaked the passerby’s interest in our Bike, Walk, Bus event by offering free samples of smoothie, trying to get across the message that self-powered pedaling reaped large rewards. One of the pitches we used to get people to participate was, “Burn calories to make your food!”
We tried to demonstrate how the energy of self-powering the blender was a simple investment of one’s energy, which is the same with choosing to clean commute. A raffle included clean commuters who signed up at the table; those picked were able to receive giveaways such as helmets for skateboarding, snowboarding and bike riding, all thanks to the organization, Gray Matters. This was another hook in order for us to relay educational information of the need to commute sustainably, emphasizing it can be an easy process. We also explained that even if no other option is available to get to school but driving one’s own car to campus, at least find ways to carpool.
Throughout the day of tracking, we saved 452 pounds of carbon based on those who clean commuted and participated in the event. We had 120 bikers, 72 bus goers, 88 walkers, 132 carpoolers and 40 that were classified as other means, such as skate and long boarders, and those who just enjoy rollerblading. Considering this was the first occurrence of this event, the amount of people that participated were a great turnout.
By Dylan Malewska, Climate Action Team member