Commuting the Eco-Friendly Way

June 4, 2012 § 2 Comments

Summer is fast approaching – the sun stays out longer, the weather’s getting warmer, and it’s just downright pleasant to be outside. Unfortunately, many of us out there are starting work for the summer, or are still working. Of course, working isn’t the whole problem – getting there is half the battle. Here’s a few tips to make your commute a little bit more sustainable:

  1. Mass Transit. It’s the time-tested classic of sustainable travel. Mass transit is designed to transport as many people as possible in the same vehicle – in theory, this is already more sustainable, but the benefits don’t stop there. Mass transit is often cheaper (even with rising fares) and quicker than other forms of transportation, while emitting less greenhouse gasses as well. For those of you who may doubt the environmental friendliness of mass transit, it’s important to note that many forms of mass transit, busses in particular, have been making strides in becoming eco-friendly. Subways are powered by electricity, and a whole bunch of electric busses are hitting the streets in cities across America.
  2. Take a Walk. I know, I know. But seriously, try it! If you’re in NYC, like most commuters, it might be a better idea then taking the subway. There’s a good chance that your walk will take about the same amount of time as waiting for your subway would. Plus, fresh air totally beats the hot, crowded subway.
  3. Ride Your Bike. If you normally drive to work (this probably isn’t the best suggestion for mass-transit users), take your bike instead. Many of you, especially those of you in urban settings, live within 5 or 10 miles of their homes – not a bad ride. In today’s obese America, it can’t hurt to exercise a little more anyway.
  4. Rideshare. Carpooling isn’t a new concept. Many highways actually have special lanes just for people who do. What is a new idea, however, is to use a rideshare-finding website, like ridematch.info, or erideshare.com to find people from your area who commute to the same place you do, even if you don’t know of one offhand.
  5. Combine Options. One of these options might suit your needs. However, combining any of the above ideas could really make an impact in your life and on your environment. Maybe you might ride your bike 7 miles to the train station, then walk from the other station to your office. Find the combination that best suits you – make your commute faster, more enjoyable, better for your health, and more environmentally friendly.
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