Saturday, June 4, 2022

Skip the Car Trip Challenge and More

Looking for ways to do your part to combat climate change and make Charlotte the best possible place for all of us to live? Where to start? It can feel overwhelming, if not impossible. BUT, every little bit helps! Which is why I'm thrilled with the Mecklenburg County and Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS) Skip the Car Trip challenge taking place this week. 

The event encourages and rewards people to minimize time on the road in a single-occupancy vehicle. Since the two biggest air quality pollutants in North Carolina are ground-level ozone and particle pollution, both of which are caused mainly by emissions from cars and trucks, choosing public transit or people-powered modes of transport can make a significant difference for our local environment. 

Skip the Car Trip emphasizes options like getting a transit pass, carpooling, walking and biking, and organizing "trip chains," which means bundling necessary errands into one outing instead of many. Other ideas include shopping local, working from home, and packing or preparing meals instead of commuting to pick up lunch or dinner. 

As if saving the planet isn't reward enough, this challenge comes with prizes. Between June 6 and June 12, whenever you engaged in a trip reduction activity, log it in this form. Then, you're eligible for daily prizes, like an electric lawn mower and passes to the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Win, win, win! 

While you're at it . . . 
You might also consider a couple other ways to participate in the decision-making process for a healthy, equitable, sustainable Charlotte for all. 

Vote in Participatory Budgeting, or PB Meck, a process that allows community members to determine how to best address the needs of their communities by turning ideas into actual project proposals. Check out the proposed projects for your district and vote here

Also, every five years, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation evaluates projects for funding in the Capital Improvement Plan Cycle. This is the process through which decisions are made about the addition, renovation or replacement of County-owned facilities, infrastructure, equipment, and land acquisition. Now's your chance to weigh in on what projects you'd like to see take priority! Weigh in on the public input form here

We'll definitely be participating in this opportunity. I hope you will, too. Lots of little steps can amount to big things!

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