How’d you get to work today? If you’re like millions around the world, you hopped into a car all by yourself, and drove there. Commuting by car seems like a necessity–hey, we’ve all gotta work, right? We’ve got to be there, on time, every day, and driving a car seems like the obvious way to do it.
Well, it might be obvious, but it’s far from efficient. See, most car commuters travel alone. They also spend a lot of time idling or driving very slowly through traffic. Again, alone. Using Carbonica’s handy online calculator, I discovered that just a 30 minute commute, five days a week puts nearly 600 pounds of climate changing carbon into the atmosphere!!! Not to mention all the time and money spent maintaining, insuring, repairing, fueling and parking said vehicle.
C’mon. You’re smarter than that. In honor of National Bike Month, here are 9 better ways to get to work than driving a car.
1. Walk – If you’re lucky enough to live within a 2-3 mile radius of your workplace. There’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be getting there by foot. In fact, if you live really close, you’ll probably walk there faster than you can drive.
2. Run – Every single one of us needs to exercise more. We spend thousands on fancy gym memberships so that we can run INDOORS. Why not burn those calories running to work instead? See: What is Run Commuting?
3. Bike – You knew it was coming. When it comes to commuting, two wheels are much smarter than four. There’s no fuel, insurance, or parking to pay for, and you won’t produce a single pollutant. On top of that, you’re burning calories instead of gas!
4. Scooter – Not thrilled with the idea of pedaling up hills? Is work more than 5-7 miles away? A scooter can be a great way to reduce fuel consumption without sacrificing time (or your muscles). Bonus points if it’s an electric scooter!
5. Roller Blade – I hear that snickering. Sure, sure. Roller blades are a cheesy leftover from the ’80s. But here me out. It’s faster than walking and burns almost the same amount of calories as running (without nearly as much work). So there.
6. Carpool – If work is 10+ miles away, or if the infrastructure doesn’t exist for you to safely bike, it might be necessary to take a car. But if at all possible–don’t drive solo! Coordinate with nearby coworkers so everyone takes a turn, and no one pays to drive a half-empty car. See: How to Start a Carpool.
7. Take Public Transit – Carpooling on steroids. And without your coworkers. Enough said.
8. Use a Shared Car – Around the world, car sharing programs are providing a safe and convenient alternative to car ownership. These cars can be rented from a large fleet, or your neighbor, and you only pay for the time you have it. Gas and insurance included!
9. Via a WiFi Connection – The best commute is none at all. If you haven’t talked to your boss about the possibility of telecommuting once or twice a week, now is the time. See: So You Want to Telecommute? Here’s How to Convince Your Boss.