Staff advocates car-free benefits

Active aspiration: International Volunteer HQ staff who observed World Car Free Day last week.
Active aspiration: International Volunteer HQ staff who observed World Car Free Day last week.

Celebrating World Car Free Day was just like most other days, for International Volunteer HQ in New Plymouth.

Every day about 60 per cent of the 22 staff cycle, bus, walk or car pool to work.

"A lot of us get a walk in from where we park as well if we do use our cars, because parking isn't nearby," programmes manager Jamie-Lee Reynolds said.

They were keen to join World Car Free Day, which was held last week. "We really support things that are doing good for our environment."

International Volunteer HQ helps people around the world - but mostly from Canada, United States and the United Kingdom - organise volunteering holidays.

Volunteer co-ordinator, Reeve Barnett, cycled with co-worker and marketing co-ordinator Jordan McFadyen, to work that day.

"It depends on the sky," Barnett laughed. "At the end of the day it allows that flexibility to get around town as well. It's so much faster and way more enjoyable."

McFadyen said it's good to get fresh air and cycling to work has become a habit.

"Today it was just another normal day for us."

Programme co-ordinator, Chelsea Green, said using active transport means people don't have to search for parking.

"It's actually faster to ride your bike if you're from certain parts of town, than it is to drive around."

Let's Go spokeswoman, Liz Beck, said she knew of at least 20 workplaces involved in World Car Free Day.

"It's always hard to get a gauge of really what impact it has had, but it's an opportunity to really push the awareness that there are other options out there."

Urban buses were free for the day too.

International Volunteer HQ is currently in the lead for the under-100 staff companies in the The Great Fresh Air Workplace Challenge.

Details: letsgo.org.nz.

Taranaki