The Fresh Air Challenge is a school and workplace competition focusing on how we travel to our daily activities. Encouraging active and sustainable travel, such as walking, biking, riding a scooter, taking the bus, carpooling and video conferencing.
By reducing our reliance on our cars, benefits can be seen in our health and wellbeing, with positive flow on effects for our families, communities, schools and workplaces, all while reducing our carbon emissions. There are also lots of great prizes to win as individuals and teams!
Let’s Go want to make sustainable travel achievable for everyone and we recognise the challenges people have with commitments outside of work and with family. However, changing just one car commute to an active travel choice, is going to make a difference and add an extra spring in your step.
If you are a school or a workplace and want to get involved, please contact Letsgo@npdc.govt.nz.
The Fresh Air Challenge for schools is a website based competition where interested schools contact the Let’s Go team (Letsgo@npdc.govt.nz) to register. Schools in the New Plymouth District compete against each other to take out the overall Fresh Air Challenge, as well as competing for particular categories such as;
- Movers and Shakers award: most improved school
- Golden Foot award: most walking
- Wicked Wheels award: most riding, scootering and skating
- Clean Air award: most sustainable transport
Schools also run internal competitions, whereby classes who record the most active trips at the end of the Challenge are rewarded with a pizza lunch.
Workplaces register with Let’s Go, and then individuals from the participating workplaces sign up to the Fresh Air Challenge. Individuals record active and sustainable trip they have made and follow their own progress as they compete against other New Plymouth workplaces of similar size. There are lots of great prizes up for grabs.
The categories this year are:
- Start-ups and Small (1 – 10 people)
- Medium (11 – 30)
- Large (31 +79)
- Extra (80+)
A workplace can also have an internal challenge with teams competing against each other (this will boost your morale and trips total). If you choose to run this type of challenge, we’ll give you some extra prizes to ‘fire up’ your colleagues.
Ideally, a workplace would nominate a key contact to lead the Fresh Air Challenge in their workplace and liaise with Let’s Go. This position is best suited to someone who is participating in active and sustainable travel, likes to talk to people and encourage work colleagues to get out in the ‘fresh air’ over September.
Last year the workplace winners of the Fresh Air Challenge were:
Small – Smokeylemon
Medium – Boon Team Architects
Large – New Plymouth District Council
The Fresh Air Challenge for workplaces is designed to incorporate travel in both your work and home life. It is not about exercise (although important!), but about making exercise part of our commutes, by replacing car travel with an active or sustainable option. There are many options such as walking, riding (bike or e-bike, we are not fussy), bussing, scootering (‘old school’ or electric), carpooling, and video conferencing.
This challenge is based on honesty. We have chosen this for our challenge as it promotes openness, empowers us and enables us to be consistent in how we present the facts in our goal of active and sustainable travel.
Basically if it replaces a car trip, you can count it!
Walk – This is an easy one… leave the car at home and walk to your destination. There are lots of great benefits to walking, check this page out for some inspiration: www.newplymouthnz.com/letsgo/walk. You could walk to/from; work, your next meeting, home, to a friend’s house, to the shops. To get yourself started, think of an easy walk you could start with.
Ride – If you have a bit further to travel or want to get there a bit faster, then maybe biking is for you. Whether you are a biker or e-biker – doesn’t matter to us. The fact you are on two wheels is what counts! If you are new to biking and would like some advice , contact us at email@example.com
Bus – Do you go the same way every day? Why not try the bus? It’s not only relaxing, but gives you free time, eliminates parking stress and costs a lot less than driving. It also means less cars on the road and less carbon being emitted. The Taranaki Regional Council have set up a journey planner and information about the bus service is here www.trc.govt.nz/buses-transport/journey-planner/
Rideshare – A great option If you live out of the centre of town or know someone on the same road as you that travels a similar route. Why not suggest a ‘rideshare’ one day a week? Sharing a car is social, helps strengthen the resilience of your community by ‘sharing the load’, and saves you money.
Scooter – E-Scooters are becoming very popular all over NZ. They reduce traffic congestion, run on electricity and are easy to ride so why would you not want to give one a go? Check out Blip Scooters https://www.blipscooters.com/ who provide a shared rental scheme in new Plymouth.
Video conference – Zoom, skype, Gotomeeting, workplace by Facebook or Highfive to name a few of the options available for those wanting to give this a go. Many workplaces use this form of online video conferencing to talk to others not just locally, but all around the world. If you have a local or regional meeting, why not try and replace it with a video conference?
For any further support and questions please contact the Let’s Go team firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fresh Air Challenge has finished!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2019 Fresh Air Challenge!
We are overjoyed with the commitment and success this year. We had 42 workplaces signed up, 430 participants, our top active and sustainable transport type is walking - logging nearly 4000 trips and we as a collective logged 8213 trips for the whole challenge.
Winners and morning teas will be announced next week.
The Challenge has ended
Workplaces have until the end of Tuesday 1st October to log trips for September. Schools have until the end of Week 1/Term 4 to complete logging. Workplace winners will be announced next week. School winners will be announced later in October. Thank you for participating. It's been such a success! Keep up the active and sustainable travel!
Last day of the Fresh Air Challenge
The Fresh Air Challenge is coming to an end and the leaderboards have shifted around, make sure you check to see where your workplace is at. There is still time to log trips, however you will have to brave the weather. You have until Tuesday to log your trips on the website. We will be auditing the rest of the week and final winners will be announced next week. The workplace challenge total is over 7400 active and sustainable trips!
The benefits of walking
It’s known that walking is good for health with so many benefits. It's an opportunity for you to enjoy nature, benefits from fresh air and light. It’s also a physical activity that fits easily into your agenda of the day. It's free and gives you time to yourself... why wouldnt you want to give it a go?!
This week - can you add walking to your active travel!?
Free bus travel this Friday 20th September
Great news everyone - it's WORLD CAR-FREE DAY this week and to celebrate, there will be FREE bus travel this Friday 20 September.
This includes New Plymouth Citylink services (except school buses), and the Hāwera-New Plymouth Connector, while once-weekly or twice-weekly Southlink services will be free all week so no one misses out. (excludes school students)
On your bike this weekend
Biking facts for some inspiration:
- Cycling three hours or 30 kilometres per week halves your risk of heart disease and strokes.
- A study of nearly 2,400 adults found that those who biked to work were fitter, leaner, less likely to be obese, and had better triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and insulin levels than those who didn’t active commute to work.
- Bicycle commuting burns an average of 540 calories per hour.
- Figures show the average person will lose 13 lbs (5.8 kilograms) in their first year of cycling to work.
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
Celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori we have a new word for you to use during this Fresh Air Challenge
Eketanga = the way by which you travel