Why Businesses Should Offer a Green Commute Program

Encouraging your employees to leave their cars at home improves more than just air quality

Just some of the Softchoice green crew who bike to work every day.

 

In honor of the Toronto Group Commute’s Bike to Work Day and Bike Month, we wanted to spread the word about green commuting.

But biking isn’t the only way! Softchoice employees take advantage of anything from carpooling to public transit to using their own two feet – all part of our company incentive program that encourages employees to travel green.

Long-time Softchoice employee, Joseph Byer, takes advantage of the Green Commute program almost every day. “I often wish my trip was longer,” he says. “When the weather is nice, I purposefully take the scenic route. I also like taking my bike out over lunch and getting some extra fresh air.”

Softchoice isn’t the only one. Many companies also support ‘greener’ commuting through providing various programs, including: [Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge Day 5: Adventures on the TTC

Congratulations Softchoice! We have reached the fifth and final day of the Clean Air Commute Challenge and we have done very well! Today we’re going to go over the most infamous yet the most popular way of  commuting in the city of Toronto: The TTC. 

It’s rough and tough, all over the media, and people complain about it more than anything in this city. However, the TTC gets us from point A to point B and back seven days a week. It moves millions. Drivers work to ensure passenger safety and work as a team to keep passengers fully aware of any delays and problems. With an operation so large, it’s no doubt that there will be problems.  Today we talked to Adam Wolfson, Jay Lee, and Heather Reilly about their adventures on TTC.

Adam takes the TTC everyday for approximately 30 minutes to work each way which comes to about 300 minutes a week!  “I don’t really enjoy much about the TTC to be honest, but the fact that it’s an environmentally friendly way to travel around the city makes it well worth it.”

Heather takes the TTC daily as well and thinks it carries some benefits for it’s riders. “The expense of a monthly TTC metropass is much less than the total cost I would have had with a car: parking costs at my apartment, car lease payment, insurance, gas and maintenance costs for a car,” she says. “If you’re able to commit to public transit or carpooling to get to and from work, it’s an easy way to make an environmental impact and help lower the amount of pollution a single car can emit.”

[Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge Day 4: Let’s Carpool it

Alright Softchoice, today is day four of the Clean Air Commute Challenge and we are simply rockin’ it! Everyday this week we have been featuring a radical new way to get to work and save the environment at the same time. So far we’ve covered walking, biking and taking the GO train. Today we’re going to tell you about the option of carpooling, featuring some of our very own carpooling superstars: Ben Ball, Jeff Parmenter, Sonya Vasdev, and Esha Kumar.

Since the gas prices have gone up dramatically in the past few years, carpooling has become a much cheaper and environment sustaining option for many people. Ben and Jeff carpool together everyday and will continue this fabulous method of transport during the challenge. ” The distance is not bad at all. It depends on traffic, but between 25-45 minutes, compared to an hour plus commute through transit,” says Ben.

Ben and Jeff both prefer the carpooling to any other method due to some interesting experiences [Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge Day 3: It’s time to GO!

We’ve reached the middle of the week and this can mean only one thing…It’s day 3 of the Clean Air Commute Challenge! Today we will be discussing a very classy and comfortable way of getting to work while helping the environment at the same time: The GO train!

Softchoice has many employees who use this method of travel and are doing their best this week to really up their game. Today I spoke with our GO train savvies Robert Poretta, David Brisbois and Jason Rand who all gave me the low-down on the joys of taking the GO train.

All three of these enviro-savvy gentlemen take the GO all year round commuting approximately an hour, to an hour and 15 minutes each way. David is stepping it up a notch for this week.” This week I took the train 4 out of 5 days. I also plan to take the bus to the go station two days this week opposed to driving to the go station”

Jason has also been taking some fantastic actions within his household to live a greener lifestyle. “I carpool with my wife to the Oshawa GO Station and  I take the GO  every day. We recently bought a new vehicle and didn’t  keep the old one (two cars in our household). [Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge Day 2: Biking!

As you are all aware today is day two of the Clean Air commute Challenge! We currently have 98 employees participating and they have avoided 1.05 Tonnes of pollutants by taking greener ways to work in the last 2 days.

The weather today is unbelievable here in Toronto; a nice, clear and sunny  22 degrees Celsius making it the perfect weather to bike to work. We have a special champion in our Toronto office, Joseph Byer, who bikes to work almost every day of the year when the weather allows it! I spoke with Joseph today about his routine and also got some helpful tips for those of you who are looking to start this stylish way of getting to work!

Joseph bikes around 14-16km a day which is about 40-60 minutes per day to get to and from work depending on the route he decides to take. “With weather like this, I extend my route and go out of my way a bit. Ienjoy the fact that Iget to enjoy some exercise and have the freedom to move at my own pace ,” he says. When asked about alternatives when the weather is not too great, Joseph prefers to carpool or take the TTC.

For many of us, it is challenging to do commutes like the ones we are doing this week for the whole year, but Joseph tells us that its really not that difficult. [Read more…]

Clean Air Commute Challenge: Walking to Work

Today is the first day of the 19th annual Clean Air Commute across Toronto!  Workplaces across the city are revved up for a friendly competition to see who can reduce the most amount of pollution in the air by ditching their personal vehicals and walking, biking, or hopping on the TTC for their daily commutes.

Now let’s talk about walking.

Walking seems to be a forgotten art when it comes to commuting even though walking is the most natural and zero impact way to get to work because it requires nothing but yourself. I had the opportunity to catch up with Casey McCarthy and Craig Bator about the phenomenon and what they are doing to make a difference.

Casey walks about 15 minutes to work everyday instead of driving her car or even taking the TTC. This equals 225 minutes a week. “The best part about walking is that you get exercise and you get to listen to your ipod and unwind. You are up to date on things that are happening in the community at a ground level just by walking to work. It’s also a great way to destress  and not to mention -save money” , she says.

 By living close to work ,Casey is able to [Read more…]