Kootenay Co-ops Rise to Carbon Challenge

(Nelson) Nelson lived up
to its reputation as a "green" community and rolled in as one of the leading
cities across the country in last week’s National Commuter Challenge.

Commuter Challenge is an annual event in the first week of June aimed at
getting Canadians to choose sustainable forms of transportation, such as,
cycling, walking, ridesharing, bussing, and teleconferencing. Nelson had the
second highest result for percentage of community member participation and the
highest for a city its size.

As part of the
nation-wide Commuter Challenge – Nelson & District Credit Union challenged
other local cooperatives to determine which organization could leave a lighter
commuter carbon foot-print from June 1st-7th. A grading system of walking,
cycling, teleconferencing, public transit, car-pooling and driving solo was

The local
co-operative in Nelson which accepted the credit union’s challenge was the
Kootenay Co-op Country Store. Bragging rights for the winning team and $200
being paid by the losing team to the West Kootenay Eco-Society was laid down.

Though $200 was
paid by Nelson & District Credit Union as their staff used the most fuel to
get to and from work, the real challenge was to each individual staff member to
make a minor adjustments to their commuting habits…and many did.

Following the
challenge, many success stories were shared benefiting the environment. Some
staff cycled to work or took public transit for the first time. Others had a
social week of filling up their cars with newfound car-poolers.

22 staff from Nelson & District Credit Union
participated in the challenge, collectively saving over 3,500km of driving over
the week.