Trying to live a “green” life takes many forms, whether it be using green energy, disposing of waste in a responsible manner, or cleaning with environmentally-friendly products. One of the best ways to stay green is to green your commute and reduce your carbon footprint. Not only is it a fantastic way to give back to the earth, it can help you get healthier, expand your mind, and even reduce your stress level.
Extra Benefits of Green Commuting
When you are driving alone in a car, you can really only do two things: drive and listen to music or the radio. Living a sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous to your health. By choosing to bike, walk or take public transit, you'll get some exercise and save some money.
If your commute is over a mile and/or you live in a location where it is either too cold, too hot, or too rainy for part of the part of the year, commuting by walking may be out of the question. However, if you are within two or three miles, you may want to consider running to and from work a few times a week. This is especially true if you have a gym at or nearby work where you can shower and dress.
Once you have decided that the green choice is the best choice, you need to decide which green choice works for you.
Commuting by bicycle is one of the best ways to green commute. If you ride ten miles to work at a decent pace, you will burn over 400 calories, roughly the equivalent of a reasonable lunch. It may not be as simple as jumping on a bike and heading to work the same way you do in a car. You'll need to plan it out. Look for bike paths that can shorten your trip. Make sure that bridges and other tight parts of the commute have bicycle lanes. Remember that long or steep hills are not an issue in the car but may be on a bike.
Traveling by bus, subway, or train uses less energy than traveling individually. Many people are wary of taking public transit for several reasons, some of which include safety, cleanliness and convenience. But just imagine how much money you could save, not to mention the headache of having to drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Plus, you can use your time more productively to do some work or catch up on your reading.
Working from Home
Working from home provides two benefits: It's green and it's a terrific way to reduce stress. You're not driving, so that reduces your carbon footprint, and you're not dealing with the aggravation of commuting. The key is to plan correctly. Working from home takes discipline because there are plenty of distractions. To avoid this, treat working from home no different from working at the office. Consult your human resources department and your managers. See if you can arrange to work from home at least part time. Sell it as a “green thing” and your company is more likely to come on board.
Three or four people use less energy than one. It can be much more comfortable than public transit, and it can still save you money. But be sure to choose your partners wisely. Furthermore, you'll be able to drive in the HOV lane, which will help you bypass traffic.
Whatever method that you choose, you will find that there are many advantages to green commuting. You will save the environment, get in better shape, and get some time back. This is a win-win for you and for the earth.
Sam Socorro from Clearwells has been writing articles for over 10 years and is a commanding voice in the health and fitness community.