Bike chains are greased, running shoes laced and back seats cleared of their usual detritus in preparation for the Whistler Way 2010 Commuter Challenge.
Running Sept. 22 to Oct. 5, the two-week event is designed to pit individuals and organizations against each other in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint. Carpooling, biking, walking, skateboarding and a general commitment to reducing single passenger car trips during the commute to work will be rewarded by a system of points and subsequent prizes.
Registration numbers are good for the event and coordinator Donna Savage is hoping more individuals will sign up to show their commitment to improving sustainability in the community.
"We are thrilled with the number of organizations that have signed up," she said.
"Individual organizations are close to 80 with a lot of divisions from the Resort Municipality of Whistler as well as Whistler Blackcomb. Now what we're working on is the individual registration. They are sitting at around 400 and we'd like to get them to 800."
Individuals can sign up for free online and immediately receive a coupon book filled with discounts donated by 24 local businesses. Those who earn 40 points by the end of the challenge will be entered to win a number of prizes, including a Whistler Blackcomb Season Pass, an annual family pass to Meadow Park Sports Centre and an annual BC Transit pass.
Almost 50 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are caused by transportation within the municipality. According to the Canadian Institute for Climate Studies and the Fraser Basin Council the average Canadian produces five tonnes of GHGs per year. To decipher your carbon dioxide emissions go to the SafeClimate carbon footprint calculator at www.safeclimate.net/calculator .
To register for the Whistler Way 2010 Commuter Challenge go to thewhistlerway.ca.
Caffeine refueling stations for registered participants will be at:
• Nesters Market Wednesday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon (sponsored by Nesters)
• Home Hardware parking lot in Function Junction Thursday, Sept. 23 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. (sponsored by Pique and Delish)
• Village Square Friday, Sept. 24 from 3 to 4 p.m. (sponsored by Gone Village Eatery)
• Creekside Starbucks Monday, Sept. 27 from 9 to 10 a.m. (sponsored by Intrawest and Starbucks)
• Marketplace Blenz Thursday, Sept. 30 from 2 to 4 p.m. (sponsored by Whistler Question and Blenz)