Jun 24, 2016

How to Commute to Work Responsibly

1. Walk or Bike to Work
Obviously putting yourself in motion is the lowest-carbon option for traveling to work. Assuming you are healthy and don't live in a war zone or surrounded by interstate highways, anything under a mile can easily be walked. If biking sounds a little intimidating, try sharing a bike until you get the hang of it, or pairing up with a more experienced cyclist as a mentor. While you're at it, try using the stairs instead of the elevator. You may start to question why you are paying those hefty gym fees.
2. Use Public Transportation
Yeah, we know -- we are always going on about public transportation. But it's more than just a greener way of getting to work -- it can be a great way to meet your neighbors, avoid traffic, save money (depending on where you live), and improve your health. Start slow if it's hard for you: Go one day per week by bus or rail, or drive only part way. To make it easy for yourself, keep a set of timetables on your fridge or notice board, or bookmark your local transit authority's website or Google Transit. Once your up to speed, consider campaigning for better services and greener operations.
3. Work from Home
The greenest commute is the one you don't make at all. Telecommute, bring paperwork back to your pad, hold phone conferences, take online classes, or otherwise work from home. It will save you the time you would have spent on the trip, and also tons of gas. As a bonus, you get to work in your pajamas -- try that on Wall Street!
4. Switch to a Four-Day Work Week
Haven't you always wanted a three-day weekend every week? Here's your chance. Talk to your boss, and your family, about working four ten-hour days, instead of five eight-hour ones. If you're commuting to college, try to arrange a four-day class schedule. Just one day out of your schedule reduces the time and energy that go into your weekly commute by 20 percent. If that's too much to ask for, explore shifting your hours so you commute when the roads are clear, when you can share a ride with a friend, or to fit in with bus or train timetables. Many bosses will care more about what work you do than about when you do it.
5. Consider Carpooling
How many people at work live near you? Is there any chance of sharing the ride?
6. Maintain Your Car Properly
If you must drive to work, looking after your car is just plain, common sense. Regular maintenance of your car not only means it lasts longer, it will also save money on fuel. This means you should make sure your car tires are always inflated properly, you should change the oil regularly, and you should take unnecessary loads out of the car to ensure fuel efficiency. How often do you really need your golf clubs at work, Tiger?
7. Slow Down
Seriously, staying at or below 55 miles per hour vastly improves your fuel efficiency, and for every 5 miles per hour above 55 that you go, you reduce your fuel efficiency by 10 percent. Of course, in many cities there's very little chance of getting above walking speed at rush hour, but for those of you who still see open road occasionally, tread lightly on the pedal.
8. Calculate the Price of Gas
Use a travel budget to get a full picture of how much it's costing you to drive, and then make goals to reduce. If you have errands to run, do them on the way to and from work. If your car use is minimal, consider getting rid of your own vehicle and joining a car club for those major errands or large trips you can't make any other way. If you're moving, factor in ease of travel when considering where to live. A bit of planning goes a long way in reducing your reliance on the car, and it makes you life so much easier too.
9. Drivers, Stop Your Idle Engines
As a general rule of thumb, if you are going to wait for longer than 30 seconds, it is better to kill the engine than to leave it running. This saves gas and also keeps emissions out of the surrounding air. This is especially important when waiting to pick your children up from school -- kids have enough to deal with without being gassed by their parents!
10. Buy a More Fuel-Efficient Car
So we really can't get you on a bike? Perhaps you'll consider trading in your vehicle in for a smaller, more efficient one, or a hybrid. You might also consider a car that runs on alternative fuels like biodiesel, ethanol, straight vegetable oil (SVO), or electricity. Remember, however, that efficiency and conservation are should always be your first line of defense.
Source: Planet Green

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