With Earth Day coming up on Sunday, April 22, Oak Parkers are getting into the spirit by pledging to leave their cars at home for the duration of the weekend and commit to walking or biking around the community instead.
The initiative is being organized by Interfaith Green Network Congregations, who set a goal of attaining 1,000 signatures from individuals who want to go green. These area residents will not drive or use ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft on Saturday and Sunday in an effort to help the environment.
“Our goal is to get 1,000 people out on their bikes or walking on Earth Day weekend,” said 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 open roads on a bike.”
Transportation is the country’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after electricity. Analysts concur that the three key strategic areas for reducing transportation-related emissions include reducing vehicle miles traveled, developing and using low-emission alternative fuels, and the use of fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicles, according to the PlanItGreen Oak Park/River Forest Sustainability Plan.
The Interfaith Green Network is a sustainability initiative made up of Oak Park-area congregations. They are partnering with Bike Walk Oak Park and Active Transportation Alliance to educate residents about the impact they can have by choosing biking, walking or public transportation as healthier, greener methods for getting from place to place.
Temperatures for the weekend should be between 35-55 degrees Fahrenheit and partly cloudy with little to no chance of rain. If you decide to take part in the initiative, make sure you are dressed warmly. And don’t forget to read about the 9th Annual Earth Fest happening on Saturday.