How do you go to work?
There are so many ways to commute. But, is your way of commuting eco-friendly? ‘Green’ commuting can make a big difference to the environment. It not only reduces your carbon footprint but it also you can save time, money and even help to lose weight!
Close to 90 percent of Americans drive everywhere they go and driving accounts for the average annual production of six tons of carbon dioxide per car. The average driver in the US spends just over $2,000 every year on gasoline. In comparison, heating a home for a year produces four tons of carbon dioxide and costs, on average, US$1,800.
How can we commute in an eco-friendly way that helps to save money and our planet at the same time?
Carpooling or ‘slugging’
Carpooling is now a familiar concept for travel to work, to school, to sports events and more.
Check out Carpool, BlablaCar – sites where you seek other people going in your direction.
‘Slugging’ is a way to get into the HOV lanes (High Occupancy Vehicle) without having a formal carpooling arrangement. Sluggers go to a designated pickup area to meet people looking for a ride. You get matched up with people going to the same location, and share the ride. The driver gets to use the HOV lane, and the sluggers get a free ride.
Telecommuting – What is ‘Telecommuting’?
Telecommuting basically means that people can work from any other place and do not have to be present in an office. Telecommuting stands for an electronically established working environment, through which employees can interact, work and communicate.
American workers spend an average of 47 hours per year commuting through rush hour traffic. This adds up to 23 billion gallons of gasoline wasted in traffic each year but, by telecommuting, you can avoid the rush hour and no gas is wasted.
There are other benefits to telecommuting, e.g. more privacy than your cubicle, a more peaceful and quiet work-environment, and, of course, no commute is shorter than one to another room in your house. If you cannot do telecommuting, try to adjust your working hours to leave earlier or later than the masses.
Switching daily driving to using public transport saves, typically, more than $800 a year in travel expenses and decreases the household carbon footprint by 10 percent. It may take a little longer to get to work by public transport than by driving but being able to skip the traffic jams, avoid parking fees and carbon emissions in favour of a more relaxing journey may well be worth it.
Use your time effectively whilst travel by bus, train or metro.
Of course, walking or cycling is the ultimate ‘green’ commute. Electric-powered bicycles are becoming increasingly popular – but always wear a safety helmet.