There are lots of different way to enjoy a greener lifestyle, such as growing your own produce, reducing your purchase of chemical-based goods and plastics, recycling, and much more. One way, in particular, that you can have an impact is in the transport choices you make. Read on for tips you can follow today to help you make more sustainable decisions.
1. Choose Alternatives to Your Own Car
For starters, one of the simplest ways to lead an eco-friendlier life when it comes to transport is ditching your car. Rather than using your own vehicle to pop down to the shops, get to the gym, or reach a coffee shop, think about alternative options. For example, walking, cycling, and even skateboarding is better on the environment since no emissions or gas are involved plus, as an added benefit, they will also give a boost to your health and fitness.
Another good choice is to use public transport such as buses, trains, trams, and ferries. These options are not only typically more affordable than driving your car every day, but are also more sustainable because dozens or even hundreds of passengers can be transported at the one time, instead of each of these people taking their own car.
If you still want access to a vehicle, consider utilizing ride-share services. This includes Uber, Lyft, and the like, as well as services which connect car owners with drivers needing access to a vehicle to drive for a short amount of time. Taking advantage of these business models can enable you to give up your own car and just use someone else’s as and when you need it.
In addition to reducing emissions and the amount of (limited) gas burned, using public transport, ride-share vehicles, or your own body to get places also means air and noise pollution is reduced since fewer vehicles are on the road. When fewer cars are made, we in turn reduce the amount of materials used.
Another benefit of having fewer cars is that all sorts of resources don’t need to be spent on expanding roads or creating parking infrastructure. This, in turn, means more green spaces can be left undisturbed, which is a boost to the environment in multiple ways. For example, trees absorb carbon dioxide and other potentially harmful gases from the air; they release oxygen; and they help to trap dust, pollen, and smoke from the air.
2. Choose a More Eco-Friendly Vehicle
If you really need to own your own car, help the environment by choosing a more eco-friendly vehicle. These days there are more affordable yet efficient options than ever (which will also save you money at the gas station), so think about trading in your inefficient car or only look at eco-friendly vehicles when you go shopping for a new one. Check out the benefits of owning a green vehicle
Sustainable options include more fuel-efficient vehicles which get more miles to the gallon and which are manufactured adhering to eco-friendly production standards; plug-in hybrids (such as the Prius); hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; and electric cars. The EPA has a Green Vehicle Guide which can help you determine which choice may be right for you.
Another option which could be more eco-friendly in the soon-to-be-realized future is driverless cars. The autonomous vehicles which are being designed right now and which will likely soon become mass-market choices for consumers are thought to be more economical than older-style vehicles.
Most of them are being built to use renewable energy sources rather than gasoline; plus, since they’re operated by machines instead of humans, they should also use significantly less gas and energy, and release fewer emissions. When humans drive, there tends to be a lot of braking, speeding, excessive re-accelerating and so on. This burns more gas than smoother driving. Since driverless vehicles will also have in-build GPS and know where they’re going, this will mean less fuel wasted on inefficient routes or getting lost.
3. Find Ways to Drive Less
Lastly, without even changing the type of transport you use, you can be kinder to the environment if you find ways to make fewer trips. For starters, see if you can telecommute to work and not going in to an office. Even if you just work from home one or two days per week, this can make a difference. Plus, you’ll likely notice you’re more productive and happy when not having to commute.
You can also drive less by combining daily tasks into one trip, rather than hopping in your car multiple times to go to the post office, supermarket, gym, and so on.