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Green scheme - Metro US

Green scheme

The sound of one silenced exhaust-spewing engine may ring hollow in the grand scheme of commuter-generated emissions, though environmental experts say many silenced engines scream.

“Eco-mobility” is a resounding theme of ICLEI, Edmonton’s hosted environmental sustainability conference this week. Coincided with a green-conscious travel project Parkallen residents are halfway through, it’s being proven that a little forward thought on travel goes a long way.

“This has never been done in another city,” Germany-based Global Alliance for Eco-Mobility spokeswoman Veronica Terez said.

People are biking, walking, roller-skating, busing it and finding ways to get around without a car.

With the first two weeks of the project behind them, residents reducing their carbon footprint say the experiment has been a “mixed experience.”

“We hope that we’re contributing to the solution,” said husband and father of two Robert Kirchner.

“We’ve found we can get around mostly without using the car.”

The city has provided Parkallen residents free bus passes and bike safety checks. Neighbours have also convoyed to the grocery store.

Alberta Environment officials say if Canadian drivers cut idling by 10 minutes every day, the atmosphere would be spared three million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The initiative is raising eyebrows at an international level, Spanish-born Terez said, adding Edmonton’s results will be presented to the world at the end of June.

“It’s starting just up in Edmonton, but others will begin to follow,” she said.

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