Eco Friendly TransportationJune 8, 2020 · Aaron Burr
Being that we are all humans without amazing teleportation abilities or super speed like say...Barry Allen, we probably need to use some form of transportation.
When all we need to do is push on a gas pedal or simply find a seat, that usually means we have outsourced the energy instead of providing it ourselves via walking, running, cycling, skateboarding, pogo-sticking, etc.
When we outsource that energy, some forms are better than others. Just as we’ve learned with food, with brands, with products, and so on.
Let’s go over different modes of gettin’-around. We can group them into three categories and provide some tips for each mode.
The categories will be modes of transportation that are:
- Great for the planet and our health
- Pretty sustainable
- Not so great for the planet but there are ways to make them better
Not so great for the planet
Cars and Planes
Cars and planes both burn fossil fuels as their energy source which emits greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants into the air. All while also contributing to our dependency on fossil fuels.
Cars make up a large chunk of the world's greenhouse gas emissions because there are Just.So.Dang many of them! They are also a big issue since many of us end up driving alone or maybe with one other person. This means more cars on the road which means more pollution.
Planes, while they may be able to transport so many people at once, emit a lot of harmful pollutants as well. Most of the emissions and fuel burning comes from taking off.
For cars, maybe it isn’t realistic (or even sustainable) to simply buy a new fuel efficient car if yours works fine. But a good thing to do is plan on MPG’s being a very important aspect of your next vehicle. Or even better, go electric! As a lot of change making tends to be, this involves more planning vs action right now.
Also, be more delicate on the gas when driving. Stopping and going more gradually can affect gas mileage by upwards of 30%! Drive like there is an egg between your foot and the gas pedal.
Carpool carpool carpool!
For planes, obviously there are times where we simply need to fly. And when that happens, try and fly direct. Since most of the fuel is used for take-off, it is better to have fewer take-offs. Also, see if your airline allows you to offset your flight.
Buses and Trains
Buses and trains, while they may emit similar emissions as cars, they are able to hold more people at a more efficient rate. Plus, many buses and trains are becoming increasingly electrified. This means instead of emitting pollutants, they are drawing energy from the grid, however it was produced.
Many of us have access to public transit for getting around, but (especially in the US) car ownership is a symbol of an independent and successful life. This steers (lol, get it?) us away from taking public transit, even if it may save us lots of money, and the planet from emissions.
Much like planning ahead to buy a new car, maybe taking public transport will require future changes, instead of right now. Many of us may not live in an area that has buses or trains nearby. Access to this should be an important thing to consider next time we move somewhere.
Pushing our local government for more public transit routes is also a great idea.
Great for the planet and our health
Ahhhhhhh, the bicycle, one of the best ways to get around within certain distances. The only emissions associated with riding a bike is maybe the extra CO2 we breathe out from such a healthy exercise! Save the planet, exercise, and destress? Come on, it’s a no brainer!
Aristotle, Beethoven, Dickens, Thoreau. All of them took walking seriously, maybe because it wasn’t serious at all. It is meditative, healthy, and in a beautiful way...aimless.
Or maybe it can have an aim, to simply get us to a place we are trying to go. Walking is yet another great form of light exercise that is good for our health and the planet’s.
If you aren’t used to biking or walking a lot, take it easy, ease into it, and go slow. Start with shorter distances at first, then as you feel more comfortable, start to go places further away!
You may find there is a sweet spot you prefer when deciding between walking or biking. Some people bike 20 miles one way to work, some ride a few miles. Some will walk up to five miles for a commute, some won’t want to walk over two.
And sometimes things are so close where it makes more sense to walk as opposed to biking. Unless you want to take the scenic route. Highly recommended.
Skateboard, hoverboard, pogo-stick, etc.
Don’t forget about these exciting options. You gotta have fun in life!