On your bikes, get ready, GO! April 29 marked the kickoff of this year’s Green Campus Initiative, “Mobility,” brought to you by the MDC and CampusVital. The goal is to get us moving. Most of the activities will revolve around bicycles, but if you don’t have one, there will be other ways to participate. The longer, warmer days are bringing the bikes out of hibernation. If yours needs a checkup before you hit the road, bring it to campus on April 29 (see the box for details). That’s been declared “Bike Repair Day,” and it’s also the start of the mobility campaign that runs until the end of the year. “This is our fourth campaign, in the prior years we campaigned for less waste and energy consumption at the MDC,” says Luiza Bengtsson, coordinator of Green Campus activities, a group of MDC staff members who devote a bit of their time to the promotion of sustainable lifestyles. This year’s project is being carried out with CampusVital, a health center on campus that is developing a campus-wide health care management system in collaboration with the Techniker Krankenkasse and on behalf of BBB Management GmbH Campus Berlin-Buch (BBB). “Together with our partners, we want to integrate sport and excercise into every-day work routine”, says BBB business manager Ulrich Scheller.
Save some space in your calendar for the many activities planned this year. The bike tune-up event at the end of April will be followed by a visit by the police on May 13. That day is devoted to protecting your bicycle from theft. Details will be recorded for each bike; it will be marked with a coded sticker and registered, along with information about the owner, for free – so if it wanders off, you’ll be more likely to get it back (see box).
And then there are the bike tours, once again organized by Green Campus and CampusVital, including a ride along the Panke to the city center, to show you how to get all the way home by bike without getting lost. The first tour will take place on May 10th.
The campus will also take part in a Berlin-wide competition, sponsored by city partners, to see who can rack up the most kilometers during the months of August and September. The staff of participating companies and organizations will enter the total distance they ride on their bikes during this period (including those during weekends and vacations) into the competition’s website. You can ride for several teams in parallel, adding to the numbers of, for example, a team for the campus, for the MDC, or your own laboratory. This is the first time the MDC will be participating in the event, and it will be worth it: the MDC “Freundeskreis” has offered support in the form of prizes.
Even if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, the mobility campaign has something for you: in June you can start keeping track of all those steps you have to take to get to the S-bahn (or from the couch to the refrigerator).
Those who want to move faster can join teams of joggers or competitive runners. And ironic though it sounds, another part of the project involves not moving at all. “Unnecessary travel causes a burden on the environment,” Luiza says, “and we’ll be providing ideas about ways to avoid it. Videoconferences are a good example; if you don’t know how to hold one, or the places on campus where it’s technically possible, we’ll be distributing that information soon. We’re aiming to set up a Carpooling system where potential drivers and passengers can contact each other. If you haven’t needed this until now just wait until Fall, when construction will close the S-bahn line to Buch.” You can keep up-to-date on the entire campaign with a visit to the Mensa, where you’ll find an overview on a display mounted on an old bicycle.