Sustainable Living - Transportation
Something will have gone out of us as a people . . . if
we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads
through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own
country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste.
~ Wallace Stegner, letter to David E. Pesonen
of the Wildland Research Center, 3 December 1960
BUF's Transportation Challenge
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, our choice of transportation mode is the most effective choice
individual citizens can make toward improving the environment. So we challenged our members to learn to use
alternative means of transportation such as walking, bicycling, riding the bus and carpooling. From Earth
Day to Autumn Equinox 2007, we challenged all members and friends to use alternative transportation to and
from Sunday service as a first step. Over 60 members recorded their Sunday trips on a poster prominently
featured in the church foyer. We also encouraged them to record all alternative transportation trips on
the local city website WhatcomSmartTrips.org. This was our first project, being kicked off during our
Earth Day 2007 Fair. Although we held this challenge only once, it has had lasting effects. The number
of people who use alternative transportation to Sunday services (and everyday) continues to rise. Many
people also carpool to BUF meetings and events in the evening when the city bus system reduces service.
Our bike racks are always full as well as most trees in the vicinity.
In 2010, as a result of our membership in Sustainable Connections BUF's staff are all members of Smart Trips.
See the Smart Trips program information below.
Whatcom Alterantive Transporation Programs
Walk, bike, share a ride, or ride the bus. Make a difference anywhere you go.
A Smart Trip is any trip made by walking, bicycling, sharing a ride or riding the bus that replaces
a drive-alone vehicle trip. Your trip must start or end in Whatcom County. Smart Trips can be recorded
by anyone age 18 or older.Walking and bicycling for recreation are not eligible as Smart Trips. Walking
and bicycling to leisure activities are eligible as Smart Trips. Ridesharing is defined as two or more
licensed drivers sharing a ride to the same destination or separate destinations along the same path of
travel. Whatcom Smart Trips is sponsored by the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County, WTA, Whatcom Council
of Governments, the State of Washington, and grants from Northwest Clean Air Agency, Puget Sound Energy
and ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery. Whatcom Smart Trips promotes transportation by walking, bicycling,
sharing rides, and riding the bus. These trips:
Whatcom Smart Trips encourages people to try alternatives to driving alone and rewards
those who are already making Smart Trips. It applies to all trips, including the trip to work, errands, school,
or leisure activities. For more information on the program and the rewards, click here
Whatcom Smart Trips Programs.
- Reduce traffic congestion,
- Build a more efficient transportation system that provides more mobility and access for
- Provide health benefits to individuals
- Strengthen social connections
- Create a more vibrant local business community
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other types of air and water pollution
Bicycling is a great way to replace your short car trips. Traveling to a neighbor's
house or to the local store can be easy and fun on a bike. Even if you haven’t biked in a while, you'll be
surprised at how easy it is to bike three-miles. Many daily trips are shorter than three miles and for these
short trips, bicycling is often quicker than driving. Where trails can be part of your trip, running errands
becomes a mini-vacation in your day! Many people see bicycling as a recreational activity – and for good
reason – bicycling is fun! But the bicycle also happens to be the most efficient form of transportation ever
The goals of EverybodyBIKE are to help local travelers see bicycles as an important form of
transportation and increase bicycle trips to the point that they are a significant share of local trips.
everybodyBIKE offers a variety of classes and works in conjuction with Smart Trips. For more information,
go to everybodyBIKE.