EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado - Are you looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Help power the valley with your soles by joining the Sole Power Green Commuting Challenge.
Bike, run, walk or skate to work to not only eliminate your CO2 emissions but also save money and stay in shape in the meantime.
After hearing about the challenge in Jackson, Wyo., town of Vail Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Kristen Bertuglia wanted to bring it to the valley.
"This challenge is to save carbon emissions, money and the planet," Bertuglia said.
There are currently 222 contestants involved with a total of 12,348 miles tracked so far. You can choose to track your miles individually or as a team.
"In this area, everyone is all about a healthy community, so I think that is one of the most important things," said Bertuglia. "People can be green and enjoy the outdoors at the same time."
Last year, they tracked 25,000 miles and are hoping to have at least 30,000 this year. As of Friday, the top three groups that have clocked the most miles are the teams from West Vail Liquor Mart, The Kind and Eagle Valley Library District.
"We're trying to be more conscious of the amount of fossil fuels that we would burn in the course of a year," said Tom Mullen, a member of the West Vail Liquor Mart team. "We are looking for ways to displace those with commuter miles either by biking or walking to work."
The challenge is a good incentive for the participants because they are really conscious of their miles and how much carbon they are offsetting.
According to Bertuglia, the contestants get very competitive while really enjoying the challenge at the same time.
"Even though we have so much winter, it does not seem to bother a lot of people," Bertuglia said. "A lot of people ride when it snows."
You do not have to be a hard-core biker to participate.
"Commuting by using your own 'sole power' has added health benefits," Mullen said. "Part of achieving a healthy lifestyle can be attained by getting from Point A to Point B by simply using your own two feet."
Organizers also are working on creating an iPhone application that will track and clock your miles automatically.
"I hope to really grow it beyond my department," Bertuglia said. "This year, we had a little workshop, and people from Eagle County, Avon and all up and down the valley were involved, so I would like to keep expanding that."
For more information, go to www.eaglevalley
solepower.org or call 970-477-3455.