CCWC Shout-Out: The Communicommuters!
Not everyone in your Clean Commuter and Wellness Challenge team needs to commute the same way. The Communicommuters stood out in the first week of the challenge due to the diversity of transportation methods. We wanted to find out more about this team.
Q. Who is your team? Where do you work? How did you form?
We are Larisa Saunders, Isobel O’Connor-Smith, Stephanie Bale, Leslie-Ann Drummond, Susan Seto, Jake Adrian, Nafisa Abdulla and Diane Wild from Fraser Health’s Communications and Public Affairs department, located in the Central City Tower, in Surrey. Diane was the ringleader. Keen to start a team, she sent out a call to the department as a way to recruit others to join her in the two-week challenge.
Q. Why did your team decide to join the Clean Commuter and Wellness Challenge?
We value green initiatives but given the broad geographic area we work and live in, it can often be difficult to walk (or bike or bus) the talk. This was a way to celebrate our ongoing green commutes and challenge ourselves to go a little further. Also? Some of us participated a couple of years ago and won MEC gift certificates. We like to win.
Q. What methods of commuting do you use (pre-challenge & during the challenge)?
Some of us were regular transit commuters already (Larisa, Isobel, Susan, Jake and Leslie-Ann), a couple of us are neighbours who usually carpool to work together (Nafisa and Diane), and we have one team member who usually drives daily but has committed to taking transit a couple times a week for the challenge (Stephanie).
Q. Are you Avoiders (already had clean / green commutes), or Reducers (using the CCWC to change your habits)?
Most of us are Avoiders, while Stephanie is our Reducer. Larisa went from a daily driver to a regular transit commuter the last time we participated in the challenge, and the habit stuck.
Q. How has it been competing as part of a team?
We have fun with it. It’s very early days but we’re watching that leaderboard closely. Did I mention we like to win?
Q. How are you all doing at the end of week one? Any great stories / new experiences / aha moments / new realizations / goals met?
Isobel: Taking transit is such a great way to be consistently active. My Sparkly fitness tracker tells me my walk to the bus stop from my house gives me 900 steps alone – what a great start to the day! It’s motivated me even more to get my work colleagues away from their desks for a lunchtime walk and mount up more steps.
Susan: I love taking transit to work. Walking to the bus stop and SkyTrain station is an easy way to sneak in some light exercise. I also like not having to worry about traffic and the long drive. The train is a great place to catch up on reading and sleep. The Surrey corporate office is also conveniently located next to the SkyTrain which makes it easy for me to transit to work.
Leslie-Ann: I gave up my car to be greener over 6 years ago and now use only transit and Modo carsharing.
Diane: Carpooling is awesome. But the challenge has helped reinforce the importance of a healthy transit system. I had committed to taking transit if we weren’t able to carpool in the morning, but I have to admit I drove my car to work one day when I had an early morning meeting (I’m not a morning person), plus another off-site meeting. I live next to an Evergreen Skytrain station so I’m lucky my transit commute time will be reduced when that opens.
Stephanie: In week #1 I discovered that my Surrey Central bus stop for my return trip home was moved to University Boulevard! As I walked to find the new location, my bus zipped by presenting me with a 30minute wait for the next ride. So I basked in the sunshine and caught up on my Facebook and Twitter news to make the most of the wait!
Kudos to Fraser Health’s Communications & Public Affairs team for their positive can-do attitudes, using the Challenge to promote their values and change their commuting behaviour!