The Greenest Ways to Get to Work

Fri, Apr 6, 2012

6. Misc.

While traveling on the highway, most of us have experienced days when we’ve seen an electronic sign telling us that the air quality in our city is low. The reason why we notice those while commuting is because it’s a way of letting us know that we might want to find a less traditional way of going back in forth; that in order to keep the toxins in the air down (the ones that often come from our individual cars), we might want to be proactive in looking for greener ways for going back and forth. In doing so, it’s not just good for the environment, but in this economy, it can also be great for your bank account as well.

Are you looking for some of the greenest ways to get to work? Check these options out.

Purchase an electric vehicle. Just the cost of fuel alone is more than enough reason to consider this as a real option. An electric vehicle, such as the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt and Ford Focus are wise buys, not just because it cuts down the need for fuel, but also because they have high mileage and many even come with rechargeable batteries.

Carpool. It’s certainly not just a way for getting kids to school. One of the best, and most obvious, ways that you can be eco-friendly when it comes to transportation is to hop in the car with someone (or a few people) who is going the same direction that you are. It would appear that the highway wholeheartedly agrees. So much so, that they created a HOV lane just for those with more than one person in the car with them as a way of saying “thank you”.

Public transportation. When it comes to the convenience of this option, on some levels, it definitely depends on where you live. In more metropolitan areas, there are subways and Marta trains that make traveling so convenient (and cost-effective) that a lot of people don’t even own a car. In other cities, people have to rely on the bus. It isn’t always as accessible or user-friendly when it comes to scheduling, but for about two bucks, you can still get to almost anywhere in the city that you want to go. That’s still a pretty good deal, so take a book or your iPod along to pass the time.

Ride your bike. This is especially a great option for people who are fitness buffs because one of the greatest forms of exercise is bicycling. Matter of fact, a person around 200 pounds, riding at a speed of around 12 mph, is able to burn around 530 calories per hour. So, if you live 10-15 miles from work and you enjoy taking the “scenic speed” route, riding your bike into work is great, both for the environment and your figure.

Join a car share program. When it comes to hire cars, did you know that there are actual companies that will allow you to rent cars by the hour? ZipCar.com is one of them. Basically what you do is apply, rent a car (for either the hour or the day), reserve it, use it and then return it to the parking spot where you picked it up. If you’re planning a day trip with friends, they even provide the gas and the insurance with every rental. It’s a wonderful option that encourages people to use a car only when they absolutely have to—a responsible thing to consider when it comes to going green.

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