Area congregations raise awareness, encourage residents to leave cars behind Earth Day Weekend.
By Judy Klem
In celebration of Earth Day Weekend on April 21-22, Interfaith Green Network Congregations are encouraging residents to leave the cars home and to bike or walk from place to place. The goal is to get 1,000 people to participate in biking and walking around town to raise awareness of efforts we can all take to improve the environment in our community. Residents can indicate their intent to walk or ride here: tinyurl.com/y7ytr8tz
Why bikes? Bikes are a safe, healthy, affordable and environmentally-friendly way to get around town. Biking with family and friends to congregation is a great way to connect in our community and be connected to nature on an early spring day.
According to the Seven Generations Ahead Sustainability Plan, transportation remains our nation’s and our region’s second largest contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions next to building-related energy consumption. Transportation analysts across the country concur that the three key strategy areas for reducing transportation-related emissions include: (1) reducing vehicle miles traveled; (2) developing and using low-emission alternative fuels; and (3) developing and using alternative vehicles that reduce or eliminate GHG emissions.
“Our goal is to get 1,000 people out on their bikes or walking on Earth Day weekend,” commented Richard Alton, co-chair of the Interfaith Green Network. “We want to encourage biking and walking as a safe and easy way to get around our communities and to incorporate it into our everyday activities. The more people feel comfortable riding, the more they will leave the cars behind and take to the roads on a bike.”
The Interfaith Green Network is building momentum among their engaged members. So far, clergy and leadership from the following congregations have pledged their support of the 1,000 bikers for Earth Day weekend:
Ascension Catholic Church Euclid Methodist Church First United Church of Oak Park First United Methodist Church Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Grace Lutheran Church Oak Park Friends Oak Park Temple Pilgrim Congregational Church St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church St. Edmund Parish St. Giles Catholic Church West Suburban Temple Har Zion
The Interfaith Green Network is a faith-based sustainability initiative made up of area congregations. Partnering with Bike Walk Oak Park and Active Transportation Alliance, the Interfaith Green Network is working to educate residents about the impact they can have by choosing biking, walking or public transportation as healthier, more earth-friendly methods for getting from place to place.
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