Now everyone is returning to the office and back to normality, we are back to facing the rush of commuting. Commuting to work, taking your kids to school, and any other responsibilities you have to attend to, can not only be time-consuming, but it also has a damaging effect on the environment. Transport is responsible for 21% of global emissions. This is a terrifying statistic when looking at the level of emissions that are released onto the planet daily. We all have a part to play in this, and reflecting on our unsustainable habits and finding a resolution for more eco-friendly alternatives is a step in the right direction.
From traffic to air pollution, there are so many negatives that come with the daily commute which many of us think are unavoidable. In this blog post, we will discuss the many sustainable alternatives for commuting there are to choose from. Reducing your environmental impact one step at a time will guide us towards a much safer, and pollution-limited future for the environment we live in.
It should come as no surprise that driving a car is one of the most damaging modes of transport many of us choose to take to work. Driving releases almost half a pound of carbon dioxide for every passenger every mile. Of course, planes are also known to be extremely unsustainable, but when weighed up for their fuel efficiency and average CO2 emissions, the usage of cars as a collective came out on top. We all love to have a sing-along in the car to ourselves, however, if we hope to see a much brighter and greener future, alternative options must be considered. Take a look at the ulterior option that you can take for sustainable transport:
Carpooling is an easy yet effective way you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint, all while bringing your community together. Whether you live near colleagues, or you have neighbours who are also on the school run, carpooling is a great way to reduce the need for multiple vehicles, and also bring down the level of congestion on the roads. If you have neighbours who go to the same location as you or perhaps have children in the same school, offer the possible idea of carpooling and see if they would be open to it. Bringing together your neighbours and installing a sense of responsibility as a collective makes it much more enjoyable to take part in. It builds relationships, whilst breaking down the spread of greenhouse gases.
Trains are also a great option if you are considering a more sustainable route to work. They consume far less energy than what would be used by cars, and also many trains are now moving towards using more sustainable energy sources such as electricity. This would be game-changing if all trains convert to using electricity, however, for now, trains can be recognised as a more sustainable transport option due to their larger capacity, avoidance of congestion, and also a reduction in noise pollution that is evident with cars. There is a much lower passenger carbon print, which ultimately is what we should all be aiming for.
Buses are another sustainable transport option if you are looking for a better alternative to driving your car for your daily commute. It would not be fair to label them as being completely sustainable as they still contribute levels of CO2 into the atmosphere, however, they are recognised for their fuel efficiency and support in reducing the number of Co2 contributions per passenger. The average bus can fit around 28-87 passengers. Think about the implications it would have if all of those passengers resorted to driving their cars instead. There are so many bus services running in and around the country that not many of us have excuses to not ride the bus!
If your destination is far from the bus stop, you have the option of bringing your bike or scooter onto the bus to shorten the time it takes to walk to and from the bus stop to your destination. Moreover, there are now designated bus lanes within most busy town centres, meaning while cars are stuck in the never-ending lengths of traffic, you will be whisked away to your destination safely, and in much less traffic than what cars will experience!
Walking is not the obvious choice, especially for people who have some miles to commute, but if your place of walk is within a 40-minute walk from your home you should be walking. Everyone should be walking enough steps throughout the day to maintain our respiratory health and muscle health, whilst also cutting any unneeded pounds we might have gained from sweet treats! It is normal to prefer the 5-minute drive to work over the 40-minute walk, but think about all of the additional benefits you will gain from walking. You will save money on petrol, contribute towards your overall health, and also allow more time in the morning to listen to a podcast, and also think about the day ahead.
If walking is not your thing, you might also consider getting yourself an e-bike, or perhaps an e-scooter. They are handy vehicles that produce zero emissions and also come out as much more cost-effective than if you were to own and drive a car daily. Big wheeled scooters are guaranteed to get you to your destination fast, safely, and also emission-free! There are many studies that you may think, so matter the terrain you need to drive against, you will find yourself getting to your destination in no time. It is important to keep in mind that not all locations and roads permit the use of electric scooters and bikes. Double check you are permitted in your area to ride your e-scooter and enjoy the feeling of zero emissions!
Working from home
Finally, another way to be more sustainable with commuting is to not commute at all! With the rise in technological advancements that now allow people to do everything from home, many people are prioritising work-from-home days to reduce their expenditure and consumption. Working from home a few days of the week, or full time is a great way to avoid the emissions produced whilst commuting. It is not an option for everyone, however, if you can do so it would be wise to consider it!
Overall, conscious decisions over the way we choose to commute should be taken if we hope to see a green future. The morning rush to commute to work produces a worrying level of greenhouse gases. They are yet to be completely avoided, but deciding to become more suitable with your transportation options is the best course of action to take.