Commuting can be stressful. Traffic jams, road rage, rush hour, and car troubles can all contribute to a feeling of stress and dread when you’re driving to and from work. Instead of being able to unwind after a long day at the office, commuting sometimes just makes you more anxious and worked up.
Green commuting can help solve these issues and improve not only your mood and well-being, but also the health of the planet. We’ll take a look at why green commuting is a good idea, learn what options a sustainable commute can offer, and discuss some tips and tricks for getting started with developing your own green commute.
Why Green Your Commute?
Practicing a green commute is important for not only personal health, but also for ensuring that we have a healthy planet to inhabit in the future. Slow-moving cars emit more fumes, making traffic jams and red lights unhealthy and unsustainable.
The problem of congested highways plagues many American cities, and the number of cars on the road is only increasing as time passes. That’s one reason why it’s so important to do what you can to drive less and find other ways to get to work whenever possible.
There’s also the fact that sitting in a car is the least healthy way to commute. Sitting in stressful traffic and fumes does not do good things for your body (think increased blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease). Driving to work is often linked to anxiety, while green commuting, on the other hand, has been linked to higher life satisfaction, better health, and improved mood.
Riding your bike or walking to work can help you show up awake, sharp, and focused. When you choose an active commute, you’re incorporating physical activity into your daily routine in a necessary way.
Choosing public transportation or a ride-booking service is also more beneficial than driving alone in your car because it offers you the chance to socialize, read the news, or do a crossword puzzle before the workday starts instead of only being able to focus on the road and navigating tricky traffic.
Options For Green Commuting
There are many ways to be a green commuter. If you live close enough to your place of work, walking can be a great option, and since walking is both good for you and the environment, it’s a win-win.
Biking to work is another great option and is often a fun one too. Bike-share programs exist in cities around the country to make cycling more accessible for all people. You don’t need fancy gear to bike to work — just a reliable bike with working brakes, a helmet, and a lock to keep it safe while you’re on the clock.
Some commuters choose to combine active transportation options like walking and biking with public transportation options to make their commute sustainable over the long term. You could walk or bike partway to your office and hop on public transportation for the remainder of the trip, for example. This is a great option if your commute is too long or if you’re on a time crunch.
Then, of course, there’s the option of using public transportation or carpooling to get to work. It’s a success every time there’s one less car on the road, so even if you and a friend make a pact to drive to work together each day, you’re doing something to help the environment.
Many people love using the bus, subway system, or shuttle to get to work because it gives them some personal time to catch up on reading, listen to the news, or just sit back and enjoy the ride without the stress of traffic keeping them on high alert.
No matter which green commuting options feels best to you, rest assured that by practicing green commuting you’re doing something positive for yourself and for the environment.
Greening your commute can be an eco-friendly step you can take every day, not to mention one that will help save you money over the long run. Think of how much you’ll save if you’re not paying for gas every week!
Tips for Getting Started
Sometimes starting to green your commute can be intimidating, whether you’re nervous about how to navigate the bus system or worried about getting a flat tire halfway to the office on a Monday morning. Luckily, with a little forward thinking, you can quickly learn the ins and outs of being a green commuter and enjoy your new commute in a stress-free way.
It’s always a good idea to leave a few extra minutes of leeway when you’re trying out a new commute. That way, if something goes wrong, like a bus being late or your bike tire losing air, you have time to fix the problem and not worry about being late.
Checking on things like the weather, the functionality of your gear, and your route ahead of time can also help ease the stress of commuting. You can also try organizing a green commuting group for motivation and support. You might be more likely to commit to walking, biking, or taking the bus if you have a group of people to hold you accountable and do it with you to make it more fun.
Green commuting is fun, sustainable, and good for your personal health and well-being. Why suffer through the hustle and bustle of the morning traffic jam, only to do it again at 5 p.m. if you don’t have to?
By being aware of why green commuting is a good idea, knowing your options for a sustainable commute, and planning ahead, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a whole new type of healthier commute.