The Green-Schools Big Travel Challenge 2016 has begun and schools across the country are already switching their travel modes. During February the Green-Schools programme is calling on over 1,500 eligible schools to challenge students, teachers and parents to try walking, cycling, scooting, carpooling, or taking public transport to school.
“What change can you achieve in two weeks?” is the question posed. Schools are asked to concentrate on one sustainable transport mode for two weeks this month to see if they can achieve real, lasting change in the travel behaviour of their staff and students. Following a judging process one school will be awarded the title “Ireland’s Travel School of the Year” with schools also awarded in categories related to the mode they chose to promote.
BRING ABOUT CHANGE
Last year’s winners, Dublin’s St. Vincent de Paul GNS answered the challenge with determination, choosing to concentrate on their Walking Bus mode, whereby students and parents meet and walk to school in a group together. Before the Challenge the school had 15 students use the Walking Bus as their mode to school; on the final day of the Challenge they recorded 219 (out of a possible 298) walking to school on the Walking Bus – a considerable increase!
Launching the competition, Green-Schools Travel Manager Jane Hackett said: “We’re asking schools to really challenge themselves this month to bring about change in how they travel to school. By focusing on active and sustainable modes of travel they can help reduce congestion; improve air quality in the area and also arrive more alert and ready to learn!”