29 Jan five tips to sustainable transportation
our means of transport have a big impact on the environment, whatever means of transport we choose will have an effect on the environment, but the more we choose with care we can reduce our impact, and a few simple changes can make all the difference.
walking is a part of life that I dearly hope people will continue to value and appreciate. it’s the easiest way to quiet your mind and connect with your surroundings. it’s also free and cuts back on fossil fuels.
riding bikes is so enjoyable. feeling the fresh air go by, watching the trees move like a moving picture show, it’s altogether very cinematic and has practically no environmental impact. it’s also a great way to motivate yourself to exercise and you won’t be spending anything on bus tickets or gas.
carpool & sustainable car travel
if you live somewhere where you drive a lot carpooling with friends is a great way to minimize your environmental impact. it’s also cheaper, and a lot more fun than spending hours driving every day on your own. you’ll save on gas and parking costs and taking turns drives allows you to multi-task; reply to emails, caught up on texts. sometimes there’s nothing more enjoyable than listening to music and watching the world go by.
I’ve been living in europe the last six months and have used the app blablacar a few times for easy ride sharing. it’s an inexpensive way to travel and an interesting way to meet new people. zimride is a good option if you’re in the US, it’s a closed network so you have to get approved when you make a profile, generally you just need to be a part of a university or company that’s a part of the network. the upside is it’s a free network and is connected to facebook so you can check profiles of the drivers. rideguru is a good app to compare ridesharing options and prices, it’s accessible all over the world and although you have to contact the company yourself or download the application that you find through the app it’s a great way to find you’re best option while traveling.
using taxi services like lyft and uber is still better environmentally speaking than owning your own car, and the apps are available almost anywhere in the world.
if your feeling adventurous hitchhiking maps is a great resource, the app as a compilation of data that tells you where you the best places to get rides based on hitchhiker’s success.
car travel isn’t the most eco-friendly option but there are a few other simple steps you can take to minimize your impact:
make sure your car is regularly serviced and check your tire pressure often. under-inflated tires increase fuel consumption and have a shortened life span and a well-tuned car burns 15% less fuel. if you’re going under 70 mph opt for fresh air over air conditioning, this reduces fuel consumption and if it’s a nice day fresh air always feels better anyways.
public transportation transports a lot more people for a lot less energy. trains are one of the most energy-efficient means of transport. buses and metros are great in cities.
I’ve always loved taking public transport, maybe because I’m from Arizona where it’s practically non-existent and maybe because most of my travels have been in europe and public transport has always been a means to connect with a city. to get to know the architecture and the people and to physically be a part of the culture. opting for public transport is also more affordable than owning a car and often if you buy a pass for a few months or have a student card you’ll get even more of a discount.
travel is one of my greatest passions and although plane travel is not very eco-friendly there are some simple ways we can cut back our environmental impact.
favor environmentally conscious airlines. alternativeairlines.com is a great platform to help you choose a more sustainable flight. a few other recommendations include looking for airlines with lower carbon emissions and recycling practices. for more ideas on minimizing your air travel impact check out my post on sustainable travel.