Driving is probably the most efficient method of transport today – you can get from A to B in half the time it takes you by bus, you don’t have to rely on anybody else, and you get to choose which radio station you want to listen to. But, with rising gas prices, you might not be able afford filling your tank up every couple of days.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, would like to save money, or want to start exercising, these five environment-friendly alternatives to getting to work can help you accomplish all that.
The average 155-pound person can burn up to 298 calories from cycling at up to 13.9mph in just half an hour, according to this Harvard Medical School report, while someone weighing 125 pounds can burn up to 240 calories or up to 355 calories if they weigh 185 pounds.
Cycling also helps deal with mental health problems, like depression and anxiety, due to being exposed to clean, fresh air and things we don’t normally notice when we’re travelling by car.
Investing in a bicycle will pay off in a number of ways, including your finances (think of how much money you’ll save on gas), mental and physical health, and that awesome feeling for helping the environment.
As with cycling, walking keeps you both physically and mentally fit. A recent study conducted by the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research in the UK found that commuters felt “better able to communicate and were less under strain” when walking or cycling rather than driving to work.
Walking reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, decreases high blood pressure, and can prevent osteoporosis, and, yes, even dementia.
We’re definitely not advising you to walk 50 miles to get to work, but it is the most environment-friendly method of transportation with absolutely no carbon footprint at all.
#3 Public Transportation
While public transportation may not be everyone’s cup of coffee, taking the bus or train is, surprisingly, another environment-friendly alternative to travelling to work.
APTA, the American Public Transportation Association, states that public transportation “saves 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually” and “can create and support 1.3 million new green jobs” in the US. Consequently, in addition to helping the environment, you’re also helping the economy by drastically reducing unemployment.
Another benefit to taking the bus or train to work is that it gives you the opportunity to read the morning paper or your favorite book, socialize (just don’t stare at random people), or even make some last-minute planning before your morning presentation or meeting. (Or try to pass that Candy Crush Saga level you’ve been stuck on since forever).
#4 Rollerblading / Skating
Go green, exercise, and be cool, all at the same time.
Mayo Clinic reports that rollerblading and skating burns 548, 683 and 818 calories in persons weighing 160, 200 and 240 pounds, respectively.
It also releases stress, improves coordination and flexibility, reduces coronary risk, and is an enjoyable alternative to driving to work.
If you live with your partner or close to a colleague, you may consider carpooling as another alternative.
According to Sightline Institute, driving releases almost 1.2 pounds of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere per mile, whereas carpooling with two fellow passengers reduces it to a little over 0.4 pounds per mile.
Beyond the obvious environmental benefits, carpooling saves money on gas, and you can enjoy your fellow passengers’ company (unless you’re not really a morning person).
Source for all images: iStock