IT TOOK a few small steps for commuters but added up to a giant leap for the environment.
Over the past 10 years commuters in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport and Havant, have saved enough car miles to go to the moon and back as part of the Big Green Commuter Challenge (BGCC).
At the BGCC awards ceremony at Havant Borough Council yesterday, Amanda Morris, the travel plan officer from Portsmouth City Council who started the challenge back in 2003, said: ‘Over the past nine years we‘ve saved 403,421 car miles.
‘We needed more than 70,000 miles this year to have saved the equivalent of going to the moon and back. In fact the total was 99,000 which is brilliant.
‘I’m so pleased we’ve managed to increase the miles and the participation of people and organisations.’
Workers swapped motors for bicycles, the bus and walking.
Some car-shared with colleagues, which meant a dramatic reduction in emissions.
This year 1,382 people took part from 40 organisations.
There were prizes to add an element of competition which were split into small, medium, large and extra large organisations.
Highbury College made a saving of 18.3 miles per person employed.
In the large sector, Gosport Borough Council won for the second time with 7.7 miles saved per employee.
Codestorm, based in Farlington, took part for the first time and won the medium sector with 18.1 miles saved per employee.
And RBA Architects, of Gunwharf, walked away with the award for the small organisation with an incredible 55.1 miles saved per person.
They were overall winners and won a hamper packed full of locally-sourced food and a donation of £200 to the Portsmouth Lord Mayor’s Appeal on their behalf.
Andy Young, from RBA, was delighted with the win.
He said: ‘There are six employees in total, five live in Southsea and one lives in Arundel and we try wherever possible to car-share, walk or cycle.’
Havant firm Tri-Synergy, took part in the challenge and created the website for free. To find out more go to thebiggreencommuter challenge.co.uk