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clean air

Get arrested for coming clean, June 3 Bylaw has rewards, not tickets, for Clean Air Day By Chris Woodall Free bus transit, free goodies and free sports centre passes will reward those who do the right thing by using environmentally friendly transportation on Clean Air Day, Wednesday, June 3. Whistler's Bylaw officers will be in the vanguard, handing out goody bags instead of tickets to people showing they've "gone green." Bus drivers and others will also be on the look-out with rewards for people taking alternate forms of transport. The municipality plans to have 1,000 ICBC Road Sense goody bags to hand out, filled with free day passes to Meadow Park Sports Centre, pens, fridge magnets, or food coupons for free bagels, burgers or ice cream. High schoolers will be on the Valley Trail handing out goody bags to trail users with spunk. "The more obvious and creative you are, the more likely you'll be noticed," says Linda Manheim, deputy municipal clerk. "One person is planning to have his husky tow him on his skateboard along the Valley Trail," Manheim says. It's hoped the husky will get to share in any prizes the rider gets. This is the first year for Whistler's Clean Air Day campaign. "We hope it will be an annual thing. It originally started with municipal council approving free bus transit for the day," Manheim says. "We added the challenge later and it's just blossomed." As for that, Manheim hopes friends, families or co-workers will challenge each other to leave the car or truck at home and take up a clean air way to get to work or shopping. "Challenge your employees or co-workers to a bike race to work, or meet up with friends for a social stroll to start the day," suggests Manheim. And if you're not keen about getting all sweaty peddling your bicycle to work, let the bus carry your bike on its rack, then ride home at the end of the working day, Manheim suggests. Remember: the bus ride is free. Every little bit helps, even if it's to increase awareness of the global situation. "Although clean air is a world-wide concern, all we can do is act locally," Manheim says. "Each of us has a part to play to ensure a healthy atmosphere for our children and generations of Whistlerites to come." Clean air commandos should note that while Bylaw officers will be rewarding green attitudes, they'll still use the long arm of the law to write up tickets for bad behaviour.