Millions of Americans are saving our planet by adopting green practices like recycling or shopping responsibly. These practices are a start, but in order to make a big impact, we’ll need to reconsider our daily commutes. To reduce our carbon dioxide emissions we need to rethink our daily commutes and consider using eco-travel options.
The greenhouse gasses buildup continues to damage the Earth’s climate, causing things like severe heat waves and melting ice caps. Most of these gasses can be blamed on our carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, carbon dioxide accounted for 84 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emission from human activity. And 31 percent of the carbon dioxide that Americans release comes from fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel.
Mindful Green Living Tips for Green Commutes
Listed below are some Mindful Green Living® suggestions.
- Bicycles are the go-to eco-friendly choice. In fact, riding your bike to work just once a week “can reduce your contribution to carbon dioxide global warming by 20 percent annually.” But they’re also great for your overall health, reducing your risk of coronary heart disease, increasing your longevity, improving mental health, and strengthening your immune system.
- Electric bicycles and scooters can also be a solution. Both are compact and cost-efficient. And while the average car emits one pound of carbon dioxide per mile, a small-scale Treehugger study shows that a typical electric bike (Ecobike Elagance) emits .02 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile and a typical electric scooter (ZAP Zapfino) emits .10 pounds per mile.
- Carpooling is a common option. According to the Mother Nature Network, carpooling helps remove four cars from the road, the equivalent of planting 4,000 trees. And there are other benefits too. By carpooling, we can make new friends, save money, and possibly qualify for employee benefits. We can also take advantage of HOV lanes on the highway.
- Let’s not forget public transit. Getting a monthly pass for the local bus or subway system will reduce your gasoline bills, saving you money. Plus, many employers offer financial incentives for those using public transit. According to the Mother Nature Network, a person who switches to public transit will shed more than 4,800 pounds of carbon dioxide in a single year.
- Lastly, consider electric vehicles. They may be an expensive eco-travel option, but they tend to release fewer greenhouse gasses and require less fuel. In order to truly be effective take a closer look at the electricity source. The electricity used by these cars (whether from wind, solar, or coal-fired ) can also determine the car’s global warming emissions.