One Change

One Change

June 05, 2009 12:37 ET

One Change Honours CycloNomade at Parliament Hill in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 9, 2009) - One Change Founder and Executive Director Stuart Hickox will speak at Parliament Hill today in recognition of the CycloNomade-a man dedicated to changing the world one pedal stroke at a time.

Quebec high school teacher Benoit Tousignant has been biking for as long as anyone can remember. In April 2008, he set out on another one of his bike rides-nothing unusual for him. But that bike ride lasted 18 months and took him across four continents. Benoit-also known as the CycloNomade-embarked on the nearly 40,000 km solo trip to promote environmental awareness among youth. Along the way, he stopped at dozens of schools to spread the word to students that simple actions matter and that they can make smart choices to protect the environment.

Today-more than 400 days since his departure-Benoit will be welcomed home at a special reception on Parliament Hill. The event will be attended by 300 students from École secondaire Soulanges and École secondaire du Chêne-Bleu, as well as Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Meili Faille, ambassadors from many of the 27 countries Benoit cycled through, and other dignitaries.

"I'm honoured that One Change was invited to speak at this event," says Stuart. "Mr. Tousignant's accomplishment is very much in line with what we at One Change believe-that individual choices and simple actions matter. The CycloNomade has proven that something as simple as riding a bike can empower people across the globe to believe they can make a difference and to take action to protect the environment."

That proof came in the form of 14,000 letters from students around the world who were inspired to take action after hearing the CycloNomade speak. They wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressing their concerns about local and international environmental issues. The students outlined steps they hope to see the federal government take, and listed simple actions they themselves have taken-smart choices like biking to school and turning the tap off while brushing their teeth.

"It's inspiring to see thousands of students changing their actions and going green as a result of one man," says Stuart. "By travelling across so many borders, Mr. Tousignant has united multinational youth in the common goal of protecting the environment."

"Monsieur Tousignant a démontré que chacun et chacune d'entre nous peut faire une différence, et être une lumière dans notre propre communauté," Stuart continues in French. "Son voyage autour du monde est une inspiration non seulement à cause de la distance incroyable, mais parce qu'il a inspiré des gens de partout à croire que les simples gestes font une différence."

Now, more than 10 million pedal strokes later, the CycloNomade can enjoy a well-deserved rest. His journey will be recognized today from 12:30pm until 2:00pm on Parliament Hill in 253-D Centre Block. But his message will be honoured indefinitely around the world.

Simple actions matter. Les simples gestes font la différence.

About One Change

One Change empowers people to believe that simple actions matter and to make smart choices that protect the environment. One Change donne aux gens le pouvoir de croire que les simples gestes font une différence et de faire des choix qui protègent l'environnement.

With headquarters in Ottawa, the award-winning environmental non-profit organization has campaign offices across North America.

One Change delivers innovative community-based social marketing campaigns aimed at encouraging people to adopt environmentally-friendly behaviours, including their flagship energy efficiency campaign, Project Porchlight, which has delivered more than 2 million free energy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs to residents across North America.

With successful campaigns recently completed in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and Vermont, Project Porchlight is shifting its focus to New Jersey-where a 1 million bulb campaign is in full swing-and to Washington State-where a collaborative new campaign is poised to take off this summer.

But One Change is about more than light bulbs. They are excited to launch an innovative new campaign to help drivers improve their fuel efficiency, save money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The One Change: Fuel pilot campaign will kick off in Ottawa South this summer, the very same place where Project Porchlight began five years ago-with great success.

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