One of the easiest ways to commute greener, save some cash and help make the environment a better place is to adjust to make your commute greener.
If your ride to work every morning has led to stress, bumper-to-bumper traffic and hundreds of dollars spent on gas, think of alternate ways to get around. For some people, hybrid and electric vehicles are not necessarily that accessible because of the initial cost. Instead of driving your gas-guzzling, carbon-emitting, non-hybrid or electric vehicle everyday, think about these options instead:
I Want to Ride My Bicycle
The biking community has become very popular recently with the push towards eco-friendly transportation. Bike parks, paths and accessible neighborhoods have been popping up all over the U.S. in the recent years, making cycling one of the most up-and-coming eco-friendly travel to date. Not only will you lower your carbon footprint, but you will get some great exercise too.
Plus you will commute greener
If you plan on biking to work, the grocery store or to run errands, make sure you follow the rules of the road and wear safety gear. With cities becoming more bike-friendly, safety features like bollards and traffic control devices are more prominent at gas stations, airports and businesses.
Companies like TrafficGuard make bollards, those slender cement poles that prevent motorists from coming in a designated area.
If you have friends or neighbors that often visit the same places you do, you should think of carpooling together. By carpooling, you will cut down on vehicle costs, trips to the gas station and the best perk? You get to ride in that coveted H.O.V. lane. Often times, universities or work give you discounts on parking passes for carpooling, and sometimes offers the chance to win raffle prizes! It's a win-win for everyone involved, even the environment.
PLUS YOU WILL ACHIEVE A COMMUTE GREENER BADGE
In an effort to reduce carbon emissions, many cities have made the change and improved their public transportation systems and increased the amount of bike trails, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. By taking advantage of your cities public transportation systems, you reduce your carbon footprint and have the opportunity to read the paper or catch up on email while on the bus, rail or train.
If you have the option of telecommuting from home, take advantage! Stay-at-home moms often use telecommuting during the early years of their children's lives and work from home everyday. Telecommuting is working outside the traditional office environment, usually from home. There's an opportunity to work from home a few days a week, or like most stay-at-home moms, every work day. This options helps you save money on gas expenses and even clothing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at home in 2010.
Car sharing has rapidly grown in popularity as of recent years, according to TreeHugger. In general, car sharing is a type of car rental. As opposed to traditional car rentals, car sharing allows you to rent a car for a short period of time and you pay based on your usage (how long you have the car and the distance traveled). This new type of rental lets you rent a car when you need access to one at any time. Depending on the location, each car shared can replace up to 20 cars, according to TreeHugger. Now that's great for the environment!
AND YOUR COMMUTE GREENER BADGE!
An infographic by carhelp.com shows how popular car sharing has become in North America - 10,252 vehicles have been added to car sharing programs over the last 10 years; 513,698 people have opened up a car sharing membership in the same time period.
Written by Hank Young
Hank still remembers his first experience working on an electric car. It was a BMW, and since then, he's been following alternatively fueled vehicles and writing about hybrid and electric cars exclusively.