Cars and trucks are continuing to get more fuel-efficient, thanks largely in part to laws mandating that they do so. But they still are a major cause of pollution, especially in congested areas. It’s better for the environment altogether to get rid of your gas guzzler and try one of these green alternatives.
If you live in a good-sized city, public transportation can be a good option to driving. Most cities of any size have a bus system, and many larger cities have trains or subway systems that go from the inner city well out into the suburbs. These options usually are cheaper than driving, although they can be less convenient.
Walking or riding a bike
If you live close enough to your job, you can walk or ride a bike. Not only are those options better for the environment, they are better for your health as well by providing you daily exercise. There are many drawbacks to biking or walking, however. You may not want to or be able to do so in bad weather, and if you have kids to take to school or to daycare, you may not have time to get them there and then walk or bike to work.
Riding a motorcycle or scooter
A motorcycle or scooter will get you where you are going just as fast as a car, but you will get anywhere from two to four times the gas mileage. Motorcycles and scooters are cheaper to own as well and are easier to find a parking place for. There are some drawbacks, though. If you live in a place that has a long winter or where it rains a lot, there will be big chunks of the year where you can’t use your motorcycle or scooter. If you live in an area with a year-round temperate climate, however, a motorcycle may be the best option! You will have to be more vigilant than ever on the road, however. According to a Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Attorney, a Florida study reported that cars were the cause of the most motorcycle accident. This means that if you commute on a motorcycle on a road with heavy traffic, you’ll need to be extra cautious.
If not driving isn’t an option because of distance, lack of public transportation or another reason, you can still reduce the carbon footprint of your gas guzzler by carpooling. Riding with just one other person means one fewer car on the road that day. If you can carpool with two or three other coworkers, even better.
There are several valid alternatives to commuting by car every day, and with a little dedication and planning, most people can make one work for them. By doing so, you not only help the environment, you also are likely to save money on your commuting costs.
Emma Sturgis, the author of this post, is a freelance writer from Boston, MA.
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