Business Commute Challenge: Day 1

By Heather Hintze

EUGENE, Ore. — It’s time for the Business Commute Challenge, which means companies will compete against each other to see which one can reduce its carbon footprint the most.

If you’re like FOOD For Lane County Executive Director Beverlee Hughes, that means biking to work instead.

“I have to really plan my calendar. I look to see what days I can ride my bike. I have so many meetings outside my office that I could ride my bike to, but I don’t have time to get from meeting to meeting on a bike,” Hughes said.

Beverlee heads out from her home on East Amazon to a meeting downtown. Then she’ll ride all the way out to FOOD For Lane County on West 11th.

“I get a lot of really good thinking done when I have things I need to figure out how to do them. I ride my bike and have a good 45 minutes each way to figure out my day. I come to work rejuvenated and more creative,” Hughes said.

Gardens Program Manager Jen Antonia is one of the 15 other FOOD For Lane County employees taking part in the challenge; and it really is a challenge for her because she lives in Cottage Grove.

“At least one day I’m going to telecommute. And then I’m going to carpool with a coworker who lives in Cottage Grove, and then I have a friend who lives in Cottage Grove and we’re going to carpool, and I’ll take the bus the rest of the way,” Anonia said.

Food Resource Manager Deb McGeorge has a different strategy.

“I’m planning on walking as far as I can and then carpool with one of my coworkers,” McGeorge said.

That’s not a small feat when you consider she lives in Coburg. That’s 14 miles one way, but she says it’s worth it.

“For us it’s really, really important. Exercise is important, good health is important, nutrition is important, so it’s a great message we are all strictly behind so we all want to participate and do our part,” McGeorge said.

Last year more than 2,000 people participated in the challenge, and organizers hope to double that this year.

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