One of the biggest parts of adopting a green lifestyle is “greening up” your transportation. This means, typically, trading in your current car for a greener option or, sometimes, giving up owning a car entirely! Here are some of the options that are available to you if you want to find a green way to get around town.
If you simply must have a car, why not trade in the car you have now for something that is more fuel efficient and with lower carbon emissions? If you need to be able to haul things around there have been great strides in hybrid technology (check out the options at Mini of Baltimore for more information). If you simply need to get to and from work every day, a smart car is a fantastic option. Sure it’s tiny but its carbon footprint is miniscule while its fuel efficiency is off the charts.
This is the most obvious choice for people who want to travel around as fuel efficiently as possible. A monthly transit pass will undoubtedly cost far less than you would be paying for a car payment, insurance and gas every thirty days. One of the best things about taking public transportation is that it gives you some time on the way to and from work to simply relax and decompress. You aren’t responsible for navigating traffic—you can just sit back, enjoy the ride, read a book, listen to music, whatever!
Bicycle Bicycles are becoming increasingly common place as “car replacements.” The Netherlands has had a deep bicycle infrastructure for years. Portland, Oregon is known for the way it caters to cyclists and is constantly working to accommodate their needs. New York is another good city for bicyclists. Really—no matter where you live, getting around by bike (at least for parts of the year) is definitely worth exploring. It gives you a chance to get some exercise on your way to and from work. It keeps you from having to buy gas and, unlike taking public transit, once you buy your bike, helmet and lights, the only costs you have to worry about are for routine maintenance (most of which you can learn to do yourself)
Why not just walk? So many people forget that walking from place to place is an option that is available to them. Walking costs nothing—you don’t need any special equipment—and it makes your body healthier every time you do it. If you live a great distance from where you work and the places you like to shop walking might not be the best idea (great distance being 3+ miles). You could, though, think of simply moving closer to these areas so that walking is an option after all.
If you simply must use a car from time to time, why not pay for a membership in a car sharing program like ZipCar or Car2Go? These are programs that cost a minimal monthly fee and provide you with a car only when you need it. You pick up the car parked nearest to where you are and then leave it behind when you are done using for someone else to pick up and use. The cars in these programs are usually hybrids or even smart cars so you don’t have to worry about projecting a bunch of carbon emissions into the environment.
There are lots of ways to get around town that are environmentally friendly. What do you do to “green” up your transportation?
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