Many cities worldwide are improving their cycling & walking networks and developing their public transport infrastructure in order to encourage more people to go green on their daily commute.
While it may benefit the city to have fewer cars on the road, reduce pollution and free up parking spaces, what's in it for you? The answer is... plenty!
Check out our top 5 reasons to go green on your commute.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
91% of the world’s population is living in places where air quality exceeds the World Health Organisation's (WHO) guideline limits and 4.2 million deaths occur every year as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution. This air pollution in cities is most notably caused by vehicular emissions, with 10% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions resulting from light vehicles.
The easiest way to help reduce vehicular emissions is to green commute. But can your individual effort amount to significant change when faced with multinational polluters and dire scientific projections? Yes, it can.
A report by the National Transport Commission found the national average carbon dioxide (C02) emissions intensity from new passenger and light commercial vehicles in Australia was 181.7 g/km. With the average Australian driving 15,530km per year that represents a saving of up to 2.8 million grams of CO2 by switching from driving to walking! Imagine if we all make the switch.
Green commuting is cost efficient. When you consider the cost of owning and maintaining a car, taking public transport, walking or cycling to work can help save you significant coin. Realistically most of us aren't going to get rid of our car all together, so you may still have registration and insurance costs, but many insurance companies will lower your premium based on how much you use your car. Give them a call, let them know you're cycling to work and negotiate a new, lower rate.
Plus, your fuel bill, tolls and sky-high city parking costs will definitely be reduced and putting less mileage on your car means less frequent servicing and repair costs.
If you're lucky enough to work for a company that has a workplace wellness program, you may even be able to get new walking shoes, a bike or Me-Mover at a reduced price (or even free) to help cut your initial costs of going green. And don't forget many health insurance companies will also have rebates for healthy living and you may be able to claim some of the costs for new equipment.
Green commuting often helps you beat the traffic. This one depends on where you live and what your commute is normally like, but many times green commuting will get you to work quicker than driving. Ever been stopped at traffic lights or in a traffic jam and envied all the cyclist whizzing past?
Even if it's not quicker, you'll save time by being more efficient with your time by combining your commute with your workout. Which brings us to the next reason...
Green commuting helps you workout on your way to work. Not only are you guaranteed to get exercise in each day, it's also efficient... two birds, one stone, twice daily! By biking or walking and maintaining a decent pace you improve your health, fitness and mental outlook. Cardiovascular exercise offers many health benefits, such as weight loss, muscle development, reduced blood pressure and reduced stress levels. It also reduces your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and type II diabetes!
Have Fun & Be Productive
Driving in traffic can be stressful or just plain boring. Cycling or walking to work is always interesting and less stressful, particularly if you have dedicated cycle paths you can use. Now, public transport doesn't usually win points for being fun, but it is certainly less stressful when compared with driving and you can amp up the fun-meter by listening to your favourite music, catching up on podcasts or reading. Or you can put the finishing touches on that uni assignment or work presentation while you commute.
There you have it, Me-Mover Australia's top 5 reasons to 'Go Green' on your daily commute. Let us know what your tops reasons are for being eco-friendly and green commuting over on our Facebook page.
PS Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how to go green on your commute!