Green your transport, not only for the environment, but for your health, happiness, personal finances, and time….
I discussed the environmental impact of eating meat and dairy a bit in the previous Going Green Tips post, due to it being a leading contributor to global climate change, air pollution, and water pollution. Another clear biggie when it comes to the environment is transportation.
Transportation is one of the leading causes of global warming, the largest net contributor to climate change, and a major source of other pollution (as we all know by now). This is a topic I’ll come back to in more detail in a future post, but, for now, let’s focus on some positive transportation topics.
So, knowing that driving a car is horrible for the environment, a lot of people might feel guilty that they drive (or drive so much) and might feel a great pressure to drive less. But it doesn’t have to be a pressure!
Ditching the car, or, at least, letting it rest at home, is an opportunity.
Driving Less Saves You a Ton of Money
- Transit riders in the U.S., on average, save nearly $10,000 a year. (This is not counting the money you would get if you sold your car.) Could you use another $10,000?
- I’m sure people who bicycle for transportation purposes save even much more — a bike and a lock costs a lot less than transit in most places.
Riding Transit and Bicycling is Good for Your Health and Lengthens Your Life
- Living in transit-oriented, “smart growth” communities is also much better for you health and saves lives (a lot of them).
- Again, I’m sure living in bicycle-friendly communities and bicycling for transportation purposes is even much better for your health than riding transit.
Bicycling and Riding Transit Can be Fun
- Bicycling is one of the most popular recreational activities in the U.S. Why? Because it’s so much fun. You may think, “Sure, it’s fun on bicycle paths in nature, but not in the city.” I would disagree completely. Though bicycling in nature is nice, bicycling through the city is (or can be) a great deal of fun and very interesting. I can honestly say that I prefer it.
- Riding transit is not for everyone, but I love it because buses, streetcars, and trains are interesting places to interact with people and observe society or humanity, in general. I’ve always loved that about riding transit, but maybe it is just the sociologist in me.
Bicycling and Riding Transit Can Save You Time
- A lot of people think they need to drive because they have so little time in the day. I beg to differ….
- On transit, you can often work (or do whatever else you need or want to do) — you don’t have to focus on driving. So, aside from the moments when you are getting on or off transit (or observing humanity), you have free time to use however you want. With all the technological advancements that pop up every day, this is even more true.
- Cities are, by definition, places where a lot of people live and work in relatively small areas of land. Big vehicles for individuals are naturally inefficient in such locations. With more than 50% of the population living in urban areas (and the number increasing every day), using big, single-occupancy vehicles is an increasingly inefficient way to get around. In many places, a bike is faster.
- Riding a bike is also a way to get much-needed exercise. So, even if your ride to work is longer on a bike, if you don’t need to spend another 15 minutes to an hour exercising to stay fit and healthy, you are probably still saving time!
These are just a few of the many reasons why I recommend trying out green transportation for your daily transportation needs.
If you are interested in getting on the bike more but a little unsure on how to get started, stay tuned — our next Going Green Tips post will be a guest posy by Chip Hanes, author of Wearing Smaller Shoes, on just that issue.
If you are already a bike enthusiast, consider joining the Biking Revolution of Love & Freedom facebook group.
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.