Taking public transportation, sharing your commute to work and planning the trips you take are ways to reduce the number of miles you drive alone in a car. By reducing the miles you drive and the amount of gas you use you’ll reduce the emissions and pollution you create. You could also save money!
Emissions created by vehicles include carbon dioxide and methane gas, which are also called greenhouse gases (GHG). The EPA has more information about GHG.
For the last four years Volusia County’s Green Volusia program has partnered with reThink to promote the benefits of looking at alternative commuting to work, whether that’s car or van pooling, biking, walking, or using Votran or SunRail.
ReThink and Volusia County Government launched the fifth Volusia County Commute Challenge in February 2016. Using a customized website to log the trips, County employees were encouraged to pump up their bike tires, pull out a transit schedule (Votran or SunRail), put on a pair of comfortable shoes, or clear out passenger seats!
The challenge was simple – every time employees made a journey to and from work, they logged the trips on a website to earn points. Employees also logged the type of alternative transportation they used to commute.
Our Commute Challenge correspondent caught up with John Stockham, one of our “Super Commuters.”
John has been commuting from Lake Mary to DeLand since 2006. He and his wife moved to Lake Mary to split the distance between his job in DeLand and hers in downtown Orlando.
Commute Challenge Correspondent: Describe your typical commute. How long have you been commuting this way?
John: The Lake Mary station for SunRail is only about 10 minutes from my home. I use the SunRail train and the Votran bus to complete my commute. I’ve been periodically riding since the first day of paid service which began in May 2014.
Commute Challenge Correspondent: What do you like most about your commute?
John: I enjoy the flexibility about my commute, including doing errands on the way home. I leave early in the morning so I can make it to the office at about 7:45 a.m. so I have time to settle in before starting my workday. I usually exercise at our wellness center during lunch and then stay until about 5:30 to make up for the workout time.
Commute Challenge Correspondent: What advice would you give to someone who is exploring various commute options?
John: Pick the days of the week that will work best for you so you can take advantage of mass transit, but still keep a flexible schedule to suit both your employer and you.
Commute Challenge Correspondent: John, thank you so much for reThinking your commute and better still, thank you for sharing your story.
When you stay at a green lodging you are supporting hotels that conserve energy and water, practice waste reduction in their operations through recycling, reduce indoor air pollution, and educate staff and guests about the facility's green practices.
Volusia County supports and promotes the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Audubon International Green Lodging Programs. Green Volusia works with these programs to recognize properties in Volusia County that are designated as Green Lodgings. The following properties are designated as green lodgings:
• Blue Spring State Park cabins, Orange City
• Hontoon Island State Park cabins, DeLand
• Daytona SeaBreeze, Daytona Beach Shores
• The Shores Resort & Spa, Daytona Beach Shores
• Best Western Aku Tiki Inn, Daytona Beach Shores
• Hilton Daytona Beach Resort at Oceanwalk Village, Daytona Beach
• Plaza Resort and Spa, Daytona Beach,
• Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center, Daytona Beach
• Residence Inn by Marriott, Daytona Beach Speedway/Airport, Daytona Beach
• Courtyard by Marriott, Daytona Beach Speedway/Airport, Daytona Beach
• The Black Dolphin Inn, New Smyrna Beach
The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida's natural resources. The program's environmental guidelines allow the hospitality industry to evaluate its operations, set goals, and take specific actions to continuously improve environmental performance.