A brand new application for iTunes has made it possible for teachers to stack up the facts on the fight for active travel, better health and a cleaner environment.
Going Green is Good for the Soul… and Pocket
What are your reasons for choosing to be active? For Kerry Hamilton, the Community Programs Manager of HASTeBC, it’s the sheer convenience; she can “travel as fast as a car in downtown Vancouver, yet become a pedestrian at the snap of a finger and lock up anywhere without the hassle of finding parking.” It’s so easy to “take the Skytrain to a central location and bike no more than 10 minutes to where [she] need[s] to go,” and with ever-increasing gas prices, the biking alternative is trés economical.
Changing Passions to Actions
The iSchool application “is an evaluation tool… that can provide raw data on Co2 emissions, calories, and money and how it all impacts the environment and your community.” The information is specific to your individual school or community and helps demonstrate why shifting to active transportation is important. By teaching these passions to the next generation, they can “shape and make change in the environment for the future.”
This can become part of the curriculum in a computers, P.E. and science class and can be a running force behind an environmental club. The iSchool app is a “great tool for kids to explore and play with and see the results of their active travel choices.” From the data collected from students, teachers can then “use the HASTeBC website to find all the resources, like lesson plans, and information they need to know as to why active transport is important and how it affects our environment and health.”
Kerry’s goals at HASTe are to promote the “next generation to make a positive change by means of healthier alternatives, like biking,” and increase the awareness of active travel of not only the affects on the environment, but also our own health and benefits. She is a force behind HASTe that allows it to be a “resource centre of information for the community by form of blogs, newsletters, webinars and social media connections such as Twitter.
A great starter project to promoting healthier lifestyles is iWalk – International Walk to School Week. This can be a great initiative to get students involved in their neighbourhood to promote safety, healthier habits and to conserve the environment.
The Beauty and Brains Behind the Campaigns
Kerry Hamilton has been campaigning for active transportation and health in Vancouver ever since she joined the staff in December 2011. From her Masters Degree in Health Promotion and Bachelor of Honours in Human Kinetics, Kerry’s educational background fully exemplifies her passion for active lifestyles and transport, along with countless hours of volunteering with organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation (KCAT).