The Green Commuting Challenge (GCC) started at Captain Nichola Goddard School in 2013. Since then, our students and staff have been challenged to change their commuting habits to reduce traffic within the Panorama Hills Community, become more active citizens and reduce their carbon footprint. Students and staff biked, walked, skated, skateboarded, scootered, etc. to and from school as often as possible. Beginning with only 30 per cent of our school participating, this program has grown over six years to now include 70 per cent of our school population. Our student initiatives have also lead to a meeting with city officials to tackle crosswalk issues. It's safe to say that green commuting has become an important part of our school culture.
In May of 2019, GCC leadership students took on the annual challenge of organizing and tracking green commuting distances and carbon offsets from our student and staff population. In total, students and staff green commuted 17,326 km, more than enough to walk to Johannesburg, South Africa (if you could walk on water)! This offset our carbon footprint by 7,351 lbs of CO2 emissions, almost as much as a family of 3 beluga whales!
This year, Captain Nichola Goddard School has been working with the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund to tackle and educate members of our school community on traffic safety issues and ways to improve and keep students safe. On Sept. 7 we held a school wide assembly to recognize the individuals who commuted the farthest over the course of May. Two individuals received a grand prize of a brand-new bike in partnership with Bow Cycle and the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund. Keegan W. green commuted a total of 86.4 km for Grades 5 and 6, and Jayden W. commuted a total of 110 km for grades 7, 8 and 9.
Captain Nichola Goddard School will be continuing to partner with the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund this year to further our safety initiatives. We are looking forward to topping our walk to Johannesburg and reducing the traffic and pollution in Panorama Hills. As we always like to remind people, small steps can lead to big changes!