Active transportation is human-powered, self propelled movement between locations. Whether one walks, runs, rides a bike, kayaks or skates, choosing to participate means less pollution in the air. Driving less reduces emissions linked to poor health and climate change, while physical activity has many benefits for individual health and wellness.
The last provincial led Spring Bike to Work & School week ran May 31 – June 6, 2021 and saw participation in Williams Lake more then double from previous years. With 251 people signed up to log over 4,000 kms by bike with a total of 877 kgs of green house gases saved, the event was a big success!
During the week, a collaborative program between Scout Island’s Air Aware and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society’s Waste Wise brought the importance of active transportation to local schools. Connecting the benefits of going by bike (safely), with air quality, climate change and recycling, we reached hundreds of students in 4 local elementary schools. Delivering information, doing arts and crafts and teaching kids how to use bike tools by breaking down over 60 used bikes for parts and recycling, the program was very well received and we hope will continue to grow in the coming years.
Riding in red or wearing an orange shirt was also encouraged during the GoByBike campaign as a show of solidarity and support for local First Nations communities. The deep sadness surrounding the news brought forth by Tk’emlups te Secwepemc (Kamloops First Nations) of the 215 children found buried at a former Kamloops residential school occurred at the start of the week.
Through what feels like significant synchronicity, an art project brought to the schools during the week saw the random creation of 214 “air flags” by local children. Intended as a creative variation on Tibetan prayer flags, which are made to promote peace, compassion, wisdom and strength, the “Air” flags were created to show our gratitude for the forests and trees and all living things that require clean air to breathe.
Traditionally it is believed the intensions held within the flags are blown by the wind to spread hope into all spaces. May this be so. May we care for each other and air we share. May we all become ever more aware. The air we breathe connects us all. It was inhaled by our great grandparents and will be exhaled by our children’s children.
Keep your eyes open for the flags that will be hung around town once complete. Ride On and Breathe Deep!