It’s Earth Day, the annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection! As a nonprofit in the transportation industry, we want to get right down to business. The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the US at 29%. So, how can we do our part in protecting our planet through our daily commute?
Carpooling, of Course!
Joining a carpool is a simple way to decrease the number of cars on the road. Ridesharing does a lot of good for individuals—Saving people money and reducing traffic, stress, and congested parking lots. It does wonders for environment. Carpool programs around the US reduce carbon emissions from traffic filled streets, lighten the environmental burdens of noise pollution, and lessen the transit industry’s contributions to greenhouse gases. You can even use our commuter savings calculator to see how much money you could save by joining a carpool.
Work From Home
COVID-19 closing businesses has shown us a new way of work-life balance – telecommuting. People have found working from a home office has allowed a new wave of productivity and comfort while on the clock. Working from home takes away the complications of the daily commute and the carbon emissions that naturally come along with it. If teleworking has snuck its way into your lifestyle and it works for you, adapt your work week to your newfound routine as businesses begin to reopen. Work three days in the office and two days at home, or whatever fits your needs. Even cutting down one or two days a week commuting can make a big difference in your carbon footprint!
Becoming aware of your own daily usage of energy is a good place to start in creating a greener lifestyle. A first step could be calculating your own carbon footprint, taking note of your impact when it comes to your home, car, and daily transit choices. Understanding and acknowledging your own footprint is a great way to begin to make small changes to live a greener life, beginning with thoughts like: “Maybe I take public transit more. Should I invest in a bike instead of a second vehicle? How much am I spending on parking and gas per month?”
Happy Earth Day!
We’d love to hear how you take our beautiful planet Earth into consideration on your daily commute. Tweet at us and celebrate Earth Day with us on our social medias. Let’s commute green together!
What is it about our daily commute that feels so engrained in our lifestyle? Is it the ‘Me Time’, the ability to ease into our workday, the simple routine of it all? In the past, commuting was widely surveyed to be one of our least favorite activities. But now that it’s gone, many people find themselves missing it.
Maybe it’s the realization that we’ve lost that in-between time to listen to a podcast, clear our minds on our drive into work, or the sanctuary of being alone in our car. Perhaps we don’t realize how peaceful it can be to grab the window seat on a train, see the sun peaking over the horizon while driving to the office, or people-watch on the subway. When we think of things like traffic on our way home or jam-packed buses, it feels odd that we would miss our commutes at all.
Writing tutor at Southern Connecticut State University, Stephanie Kaesmann told us, “Watching the seasons change on the parkway is something I miss about my commute as I can only tutor online now.”
You’d be surprised at the original thoughts and moments of peace that can be fostered on our rather monotonous daily commutes. Whether it’s walking to catch the subway or half hour drives on the highway, being on the go can bring clarity, and ritual invites a welcome consistency when the world feels so uncertain.
While teleworking, we can create small moments of routine that can mimic the way our commutes get us ready to take on the day. Sit by the window with a podcast on to have your morning coffee. Start the day with a short walk. Change out of your sweatpants. Play a game on your phone. Jot down your goals for the day in a planner or notebook.
When your commute becomes a walk from your bed to your desk, we begin to realize how much we miss even the most mundane parts of our regular day. Take time to give yourself that in-between time and separation from work you may find yourself missing.
While you’re at it, you can use our commuter calculator to see how much you’re saving on your commute.
May is National Bike Month and also host to Bike to Work Day, always held on the third Friday of the month, May 15th. Since many of us may not be going back to work until after May 15th we can still find other ways to get in the spirit and bike essentially or non-essentially. Let’s explore!
Bike to Work Day was first introduced as a way to help commuters understand that they don't have to drive their cars to work. They can save money and the environment by biking to work instead. May is the perfect month to hold the event. It’s when the weather finally starts to get nice in many parts of our country. It's the first real sign of spring and people really want to get outside This year you may not be "commuting" to the office every day, but instead grabbing a cup of coffee and "telecommuting" from your home office due to the stay at home mandates. Or maybe you are an essential worker and you are going into work, but you no longer feel safe taking public transit so you are driving solo instead.
Let’s dust off the old bike and start off small if you have not been on your bike in a while. You will want to build up your endurance first. Right now, more than ever, exercise and getting outside is needed. It not only helps with your physical health, but your mental health as well. Studies show that people who exercise regularly show improved mental health, self-esteem and less physical pain because of the endorphins your body creates when you exercise. Ever notice how much better you feel after you get some exercise? You are almost always more positive and energized after a good workout. Below are some ideas to help you get started:
1: If you are still going to the office, go online before you get on your bike.
Search ‘bike to work’ or ‘bike routes’ and add your city or town. You’ll discover some great resources for everything there is to know about biking to work. Depending on the length of your commute, you may be able to bike the entire route. And if the mileage is in the double digits, remember start small. You can possibly drive your bike to a commuter lot and start with biking just a portion of it. Any small amount can make a difference.
2: Make sure you and your bike are good to go.
If you and your bike have had recent check-ups, then you’re all set. If not, remember the rule of thumb. Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. And make sure your bike is in good working order. Check the tires, brakes, and always make sure you ride with a good bike helmet. And don’t forget the water to stay hydrated, helmet and mask to stay safe!
3: If you are telecommuting, go online and find some virtual "bike to work" events.
Social media is great place to start with searching for virtual bike to work events. You can register for one or many of the events you find. Some examples are; virtual "Coffee And's..." where you share your commute story, what you're eating for breakfast, or just join to socialize with fellow bike commuters. Others offer ideas like if you’re still commuting daily to a place of business, ride and share the favorite part of your journey. If you are continuing to work at home, ride and share your favorite part of your neighborhood. Whatever it is that you find works and helps you to stay involved with the day will work for the many virtual events available out there.
Just realize, no matter what you decide to do to still participate in Bike to Work day in May, remember one thing, when you bike, you’re not just working out, you’re exercising your mind, your body plus your right to save money and the environment.