Getting around while going green

You’ve probably already heard about the impact transportation has on the environment. You’ve probably also heard suggestions of ways you can reduce your own ecological footprint. We’re going to revisit a few of those options, while also looking at some of the other benefits you might not have considered.

Pedal or be a pedestrian

In my ideal world, I’d be able to walk to all the places I need to get to on a daily basis. I’ve experienced being able to live that way for short periods and I legitimately miss it.

There are many reasons to try walking or biking more. For example, getting some fresh air outside helps break up the tendency that many of us have to live too much of our lives insulated indoors. The health benefits of a physically active lifestyle aren’t easy to overlook either. Picking a day out of the week to ride a bike to work can be one effective way of getting outside and active.

Getting from one place to another outside of a car can also help keep a person more in touch with their community and their immediate environment. Going down a familiar road on a bike for the first time, one is likely to notice things they never would’ve noticed in a car. Textures of a road. Scents. Small details.

People biking along Mission Beach Boardwalk
People biking along Mission Beach Boardwalk

Embrace public transport

Depending on where you live, public transport might not be a very feasible option. However, if it is I encourage you to give it a shot for a month! If it’s the sort of scenario where it’s feasible but not necessarily convenient, consider using it one day out of the week.

The best designed and most well-developed public transport systems are often the ones that are most heavily used. That said, sometimes it’s a chicken-and-egg scenario. People start using it when it gets easier to use, but transportation departments start making improvements when demand increases.

By adding to the amount of people who regularly use public transportation, you increase the incentive of local officials to put more resources towards improving and expanding your options. No longer needing to drive can free up extra time to read, to pray, or even to meet a few interesting people along your route.

If you’re going to use a car, use it wisely

Sometimes life just demands that you have a car. Maybe it’s the size of your family. Maybe it’s where you live. Sometimes you’ve done the math and it’s what makes the most sense, ecologically, financially, and so on.

There’s still a lot you can do to make sure you’re getting around in a sustainable way.

Keeping up with proper maintenance can help ensure that you are reducing your emissions, making the most efficient use of your fuel, and preventing unnecessary waste. Even something as simple as keeping your tires properly inflated has a strong overall benefit. Plus this motivation is a good way to kickstart a lot of learning about cars.

And when the time comes to replace things, whether that be tires, parts, or even an entire car, you always have the opportunity to consider a more sustainable option.

Looking for more tips on how to live sustainably? Download our guide to 88 Ways to Live Sustainably here, and stay tuned for more resources!

Philippe Lazaro

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