4 Green Tips for Your Commute to Work
As we all seek to lower our carbon footprint, there are opportunities all around us to conserve energy. You might not think about it, but many of our mundane, day-to-day activities can be streamlined for efficiency and potentially lessen our impact on the environment.
One such activity is our daily commute to work. Because it’s necessary and we do it so often, it’s something that’s become second nature to us. However, there are a multitude of ways we can get to our workplaces while also conserving energy and limiting CO2 emissions.
1. Vehicle Maintenance
By simply making sure that your vehicle is properly maintained, you can help reduce your carbon footprint. For instance, ensuring that your tires are properly inflated can increase your vehicle’s gas mileage by up to 3%. Additionally, you can remove excess weight from your vehicle, use cruise control, and avoid gunning the engine at red lights. All of these steps will help ensure your vehicle is running as efficiently as possible.
2. Carpooling and Ridesharing
If you know a few co-workers that live in your general area, you can arrange to carpool with them to work. Cutting down on the number of vehicles on the road not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions and traffic, but can also save money, as 3-4 people can split the cost of one tank of gas, rather than 3-4 people all buying gas individually. And, if none of your co-workers live nearby, there are several rideshare apps that can help you join up with others that might work or live in your area in order to consolidate trips.
There are other advantages to carpooling as well. Some cities and workplaces are encouraging carpooling by offering benefits such as high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to help you get to work quicker, and HOV parking spots which are typically located close to building entrances.
If you live close enough to your place of work, you may not even need to drive at all. Biking to work not only completely eliminates any carbon emissions you would have created when driving, it also decreases your risk for heart disease and saves money. In fact, more and more cities are putting in bike lanes to encourage their residents to be more active and environmentally friendly by creating less CO2.
Many cities are also seeing an influx of electric scooters and bicycles that can be activated using your smartphone. While not quite as healthy for you as traditional cycling, these relatively cheap, battery-powered rides are still much cleaner modes of transportation when compared to driving.
4. Public Transportation
While biking is a great way to get to work, it’s also weather-prohibitive, assuming you don’t want to pedal through a thunderstorm or blizzard. However, if you live in the city, taking the bus or the subway is a great way to use less fuel and cut down on your carbon footprint. Additionally, most rail transit runs on electricity rather than fossil fuels, and many busses now use cleaner-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) or fuel cells.
Beyond the Commute
Companies are also realizing that they can do their part to help the environment by figuring out ways to make their office buildings greener and more sustainable. Many companies are installing energy-efficient LED lights in place of traditional fluorescent bays and installing solar panels to conserve energy. Additionally, companies are encouraging their employees to save energy by adding charge ports for electric vehicles to their parking lots and providing municipal employees with pre-paid bus and subway passes.
Do Your Part to Go Green
By adopting even just a few of these energy saving techniques to get yourself to work, you’ll be doing your part to reduce CO2 emissions. And, if you want to do more to help the planet, see our guide to living a more sustainable life. Together we can make our world a place where we can all breathe easy.