Story last updated at 8/19/2009 - 5:58 pm
SITKA - People are pulling out their bikes, walking shoes, and bus passes and finding other means of no-gas or shared gas travel this summer in Sitka as part of Freedom from Fossil Fuel Fridays (FFFF). FFFF challenges Sitkans to get out of their cars one day per week and to get to work, school, events, or even just go to lunch by walking, riding bikes, carpooling, riding the bus, or telecommuting instead. The idea is to reward people for using or trying a no-gas or shared-gas travel method, to make it a habit at least one day per week, and to track the number of miles of no-gas/shared-gas travel one day per week.
And not only are people using less gas, getting more exercise, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, some are winning FFFF prizes for participating. More prizes will be given away to participants through August and September, including gift certificates for bike gear, bus passes, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and a homemade dinner of locally grown vegetables. Mile tracking and prize drawings are coordinated through the e-mail site SitkaFFFF@yahoo.com.
So far, the 30 FFFF participants have logged over 470 gas-free miles for the month of July. Organizers from the Sitka Global Warming Group say they are happy with the results so far and want to encourage more participation in August and September.
Last September, almost 70 people participated by logging miles on SitkaFFFF@yahoo.com. We hope to be able to add school commuters and other people who need a little bit of encouragement to the list of people who are eligible for prizes by logging their FFFF mileage one day a week.
We've also heard about a lot of people who recently started biking, walking, or carpooling or who regularly bike or walk, but are not logging their miles as part of the project. We'd like to hear from everyone who uses a no-gas/shared gas trip one day per week to give people a chance at winning prizes, to encourage a fossil fuel free habit, and to track our progress.
Like last year, biking and walking are the most popular gas-free travel options in this year's FFFF challenge. But other people are using dinghies and electric cars. Our most creative travel method last year was kayak and bike. I'd like to see someone top that this year! So far, the project has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by about 463 pounds.
While "Friday" is in the title, the sponsors want to track miles and enter participants into the drawing each week no matter what day of the week people use a fossil fuel free travel option - even if it isn't Friday, they still want to record your participation and your miles of no-gas/shared-gas travel.
Get signed up by e-mailing SITKAFFFF@yahoo.com. Each week you participate, you'll be added to the drawing for monthly prizes. The mile tracking and prizes will run through the end of September.