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Green Your Commute With These 6 Simple Strategies

people on a bus

As society continues to grapple with the growing issue of climate change, more and more people are intent on “greening” their commute. It offers an excellent opportunity to curb carbon emissions, and several strategies can even save you money. So, what are a few ways to make your daily commute a little more sustainable?

First, it helps to know why a simple change to your routine can be so impactful.

Why Is It Essential to Green Your Commute?

Practicing eco-friendly commuting is beneficial for the Earth and everyone’s health. As the planet gets warmer, it’s even more important to make choices that can save it, including choosing sustainable modes of transportation.

The transportation sector contributes 28% of the U.S.’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it the third-largest contributor. The problem can also be attributed to congested highways in urban areas. Slow-moving cars emit more fumes, contributing to more air pollution. Long-term exposure to poor air quality can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue.

Aside from being environmentally conscious, green commuting methods can help reduce traffic and congestion, making roads faster and safer. It can also help you save money in the long run.

6 Green Commuting Strategies

Fortunately, many ways exist to reduce emissions and save the environment for the next generations. Here are some green commuting tips to consider.

1.    Walk or Bike to Work

Active commuting is the most impactful green commuting strategy. Walking or biking to your destination can benefit the planet and your overall health. It provides an excellent way to combine exercise and your daily drive. Make it a fun and safe experience with these tips:

  • Dress appropriately: Wear bright-colored clothes, a helmet, and reflective gear when biking for greater visibility. Dress according to the weather — biking should be as comfortable as possible.
  • Be present: Practice mindful meditation, bringing attention to your body, feet, and environment. It can help boost self-awareness and reduce negative emotions. Change routes occasionally to explore new sights.
  • Prepare: Always bring an umbrella, a water bottle, and snacks when traveling to stay safe, hydrated, and energized.

2.    Carpool with Friends

Make every car ride count by sharing a single vehicle with people going to the same place. This method helps you save money, as you share transportation costs with other riders. The next time you drive to work, consider taking your workmates with you and splitting the gas bill to lessen the number of vehicles on the road.

Remember these carpooling etiquette rules:

  • Have a dedicated pick-up and drop-off location.
  • Respect everyone’s time by arriving on time.
  • Pay on time for gas money.

3.    Use Public Transportation

Public transport is one of the most climate-friendly traveling strategies, as it uses less energy and emits less CO2 per passenger-kilometer. For instance, a bus trip emits only 25 grams of CO2 per passenger-kilometer. Additionally, it can provide health benefits as you walk to and from train stations.

Riding a train or bus also means more time to do other activities you can’t normally do while driving an automobile. You can admire the city landscape, read a book, study for an upcoming exam, and play mobile games. Instead of stressing out in the traffic, you can make the most of your time on the road.

4.    Purchase an Electric Vehicle (EV)

EVs are climate-friendly alternatives to traditional vehicles. Instead of gas, these cars are powered by electricity, providing the convenience of charging your automobile at home or a public charging station when available.

As climate change becomes a global concern, car manufacturers are providing more options to make travel sustainable. For instance, Rivia aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2028 and Toyota will release an entirely electric fleet in 2035. Supporting companies demonstrating sustainability is one way to show your care for the planet.

While an EV is sustainable, it’s a significant investment requiring hefty upfront fees. Use a calculator to compute the ideal car you can buy based on the highest monthly payment you can afford. You can also get a tax credit of up to $7,500 by leasing an EV or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

5.    Work From Home

The greenest commuting strategy is not traveling. Working from home has many perks, including better productivity and no commute. Remote workers have a 54% lower carbon footprint than office workers, helping reduce air pollution levels in urban areas. The absence of travel time also leads to more time for other activities, such as chores, hobbies, and quality time with family.

6.    Provide Proper Car Maintenance

Give your vehicle regular maintenance so you won’t need to buy a new one soon. Keeping your car running efficiently can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Replace clogged air filters to improve gas mileage by up to 10%, use the suggested grade of motor oil, and inflate tires properly to boost gas mileage by around 3.3%.

Transition to Greener Transportation Methods

Climate change is a pressing reality, calling for a shift in commuting habits. Embrace these simple yet impactful ways to contribute to the planet’s well-being.

Author Bio

Oscar Collins is the editor-in-chief at Modded. He has extensive experience writing about sustainability, green living, and electric vehicles, contributing to publications like Earth911, Mindset Eco, and Green Union. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates on his work.