User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

How to Easily Make Your Daily Commute Greener

It is nearly impossible in today’s economic climate not to consider the cost of gasoline when planning any trip in your automobile. At the same time, concerns pertaining to greenhouse gases emitted from automobile exhaust pipes have the environmentally conscious commuter thinking of ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Thankfully, there are several options for daily commuters wanting to save money and the environment, while still getting to work on time and without much hassle.

Bike to Work

Biking to work has become more common among commuters and can knock out two birds with one stone. You're saving money by not spending money on gas and you’re getting some exercise. Of course there are legitimate concerns about safety and biking during rush hour in larger cities. Most municipalities have bike lanes, complete with round post collapsible bollards, to keep cars out of the lanes and give riders more peace of mind. It is best to ride your bike to the workplace on a weekend to see how long it will take and to plan your route. One of the drawbacks to bike riding is you will likely sweat a little during warmer months and may not want to show up to work in that condition. One solution is to join a nearby gym where you can shower and change before stepping into the office. You could also take your change of clothes to the workplace beforehand and put them on when you arrive.

Car Share

Car sharing is a new phenomenon which gives commuters another option for greener travels. Service providers, such as Zipcar and RelayRides, allow car owners to rent their automobile by the hour or day, while providing several security measures to ensure the car’s safety. Generally as a customer of a peer-to-peer car sharing service, you pay for a membership, pick up the car where it is currently parked and return it to the same place when you are finished with it. These arrangements benefit car owners, as they can earn upwards of $600 per month for making their car available for sharing. As a member of one of the providers, you are insured through them and do not have to worry about putting gas in the car. These programs are still very new and not available in some areas, but definitely worth the due diligence to anyone looking for alternative commuting options.

Carpool

Carpooling has been around since cars were invented and still provides a practical solution to environmental and financial concerns for commuters. Larger cities have carpool lanes on freeways, which are usually much freer-flowing and faster than the other lanes. Many employers offer incentives for those who carpool or take public transportation. Websites such as eRideshare and even Craigslist can put you in connection with people who are looking to carpool if you cannot find suitors at your place of employment. The federal government also provides tax breaks, via the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for those who carpool in energy-efficient automobiles.

--

About the author:  Mark Godfrey is the auto repair guru of the garage that he works at. He is very zen when it comes to cars.