What You Can Do to Celebrate Earth Day

Ride a Bike. Take a Carpool. Ride a Bus.

Save the Earth.

Earth Day is April 22 and a huge topic of conversation recently has been climate change and our worsening air quality. When scientists and experts talk about the environment, its easy to become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the numbers presented and think that there’s no hope. But while there are big changes that need to be made, as individuals we can make a huge impact by making small adjustments in our everyday lives.

Every Trip Counts

One of the Commuting Solutions’ mottos when we talk about commute behavior change is, “Every trip counts.” When people think about changing their commute behavior, they often think of it as an all or nothing deal. They think they either carpool every day or not at all. But changing commute behavior doesn’t have to be changing how commute every day. It’s as simple as committing to commute by bike one day a week throughout the summer or forming a carpool to use every other week with coworkers.

The Environmental Impact of Cars

With Earth Day coming up this month, it’s a good time to think about why these small behavior changes can have such a large impact on our environment and our air quality in the northwest metro region. The average car will emit 6 tons of carbon dioxide every year. Multiply that by the number of residents in our beautiful region and its easy to see how that’s a problem. Transportation for commuting and trucking is responsible for 29 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted in the United States every year according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Every gallon of gas emits roughly 24 pounds of carbon dioxide between the production of the gas and the smog that comes out of tailpipes. In comparison, one 4-mile bike ride keeps roughly 15 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into our atmosphere. By swapping your car for a bike, you’re already making a huge difference and that’s just one trip!

Small Steps For a Big Change

If you aren’t a cyclist, there are other options that will both reduce your carbon footprint and save you money while doing it! Carpooling is a great option for a sustainable commute option. By forming a carpool, you’re reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles travelling on our road. If your commute is over 10 miles one way, then another great option is a vanpool. It’s estimated that sharing a ride with one other person will reduce carbon emissions by over 8 pounds! To find a carpool that works for your commute, join the My Way to Go network to find commuters in your area. If you’re interested in joining a vanpool, learn more on the Way to Go website.

To make a difference for our environment, you don’t have to go sell your car (although we wouldn’t say no!). You can just look at your commute and see what small changes you can make for the benefit of our environment. Whether its driving to the nearest bus station and commuting by transit the rest of the way, finding a carpool or committing to bike to work a couple days a week, there is an option that works for your commute! If you need help finding a commute option that works for you, email us at info@commutingsolutions.org and we can help you find your smart commute to start your positive change for the environment this Earth Day.

Join The Conversation!

To learn more about climate change and steps being taken around the world to reduce the impact of transportation on our environment and atmosphere, join us at the Third Sustainable Transportation Summit to hear from regional experts, academics and local elected officials to discuss these issues and more. Register today at: https://cs2019sts.eventbrite.com.