Residents celebrate loss - of CO2

It was time to eat, drink and be merry at the “Bike/Walk/Win” party celebrated May 13 when Drive Less Challenge participants and GreenTown Los Altos members gathered at First & Main Sports Lounge to bestow kudos.

To commemorate this year’s Earth Day, environmental organizations on the Peninsula encouraged residents to go green and walk, bike, carpool or use a bus or train for transportation from April 22 through May 5. Participants could sign up online, log their green miles and share their experiences.

“We’ve logged more than 8,500 miles and saved more than 5,000 pounds of CO2 (carbon dioxide),” said Margie Suozzo, GreenTown’s executive director.

Nine hundred people – a threefold increase over last year’s challengers – in 10 participating communities logged 9,000 green trips and 90,000 green miles in this year’s challenge.

Local merchants donated prizes that GreenTown awarded to challengers logging the greatest number of green trips, the most-improved commuter and the greenest commuter.

Los Altos Hills resident Tom Fenstermacher accumulated the most green miles with 838.5, 765 by train, and saved more than 400 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

Fenstermacher used the challenge to commute green to his job in San Francisco.

“In the end, the Drive Less Challenge was enough to get me off my bottom,” Fenstermacher blogged as Tomfence at “I now get 5 miles of biking, time on the train to catch up on emails and arrive home at a consistent time to see my kids before bed every day.”

His reward was a $275 portrait sitting from Main Street’s Sheldon of Los Altos Photography. Fentermacher was also the regional winner for logging the most train miles.

Los Altos resident and GreenTown member Sue Young, aka Cycle Sista, avoided spewing the most carbon dioxide into the air among Los Altos and Los Altos Hills participants.

“Through her green travel, she (prevented) 288 pounds of CO2 entering the atmosphere,” said Karen Janowski, a member of GreenTown’s leadership team. “She is the winner of a gift certificate for Andiamo Salon.”

Young reported she cycled 201 of the total green-miles.

“Personally, I consider human-powered transportation the greenest, which should have a multiplier as it uses the fewest resources and (doesn’t) use any petroleum product,” she said.

Among the regional winners, Los Altos Hills’ Rich Hill biked the most miles, 374, while several GreenTown members merited the “Over 200 Lbs CO2 Club,” including CycleGuy2011, Joe Daly, who biked 300 miles during the two-week event.

Daly is the winner of a $29.99 gift coupon from Chain Reaction Bicycles that can be used for new tires.

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