A simple decision to drive, ride a bike, or walk for a quick run to the neighborhood store can significantly affect our atmosphere. It may seem like one person could not make a significant change. But it can. Any significant change starts with one. One will convince others to join, and that’s where the transformation begins. In this Climate Care series, my goal is to show you that your simple environmental choices matter. I am researching ways to help my part in changing my overuse of our earth’s resources and share simple ways to do things better to bring balance.
Did you know that a simple trip to the store matters? In this link, Walking vs. driving is a no-brainer, addressing a counterintuitive idea that driving may be better than walking. The article states people will walk and burn energy, making them eat more food, which would increase food miles. But reviewing all the benefits to the environment, our safety, and our physical health, in the debate, walking is still more beneficial overall.
Green Saves Green is a Facebook regional volunteer environmental group in North Carolina that is an example of using social media, bringing people together about the benefits of walking to help the environment. They work with friends, neighbors, and local decision-makers to create the infrastructure to make their area have easy access for walking. Having crosswalks, sidewalks, and bike paths will make their area pedestrian-friendly and encourage walking.
Here are six environmental benefits of walking . It reduces car emissions. “It has been calculated that completing five trips of 2km a week on foot instead of a car can decrease the number of emissions by 86kg a year.” (Lowa) If one more person walked instead of driving each day, the greenhouse gases would decrease for our atmosphere.
-Walking is sustainable. Over time pollution from cars damages buildings, nature, and our health.
-Autos cause wear and tear on our roads, bridges, and infrastructure.
-Walking makes our communities quieter, less noise pollution.
-Walking is cost free transportation, no fuel cost, no car payment, no insurance.
-Walking is resourceful use of space; no more need for parking spaces.
-Reduces anxiety from driving in traffic and fewer car-related accidents.
In Europe, they are beginning to see the effects of not driving everywhere. Many European citizens cycle more than drive their cars. In my two years in Germany, I rode my bike around Muenster. In the rain, sleet, snow, and sunshine. The whole time I was there, I never missed driving my car. Riding my bike around town, I was able to see more things, breathe clean air, meet more people, and parking was never an issue. Cycling across town was more adventurous than driving on the autobahn.
How did Europeans make this transformation? They started with awareness. Then made laws. Now their emissions are down. The air quality in Europe is the envy of most developed countries of the world. One of their ideas they are working on is in The Netherlands they are paying people to cycle. What an excellent concept. Employees and companies are being rewarded with cycling tax credits to encourage more bike riding. The government is trying to get companies to provide better facilities for the commuting cyclist, like providing showers at the office.
Share America has a youtube video showcasing the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Their bike ambassadors are sharing why they have chosen to cycle instead of using other means of transportation. Their concern for the environment is number one. They are educating and encouraging others by cycling through DC for all of their transportation needs.
Another alternative is to use ridesharing as a transportation option. Several companies, Uber, Lyft, and Ride Yellow, are just a few Southern California’s rideshare companies. The popularity of ridesharing has gone global. In China, I used Didi, a Chinese transportation network company based in Beijing, to get around town.
Excited to announce my partnership with @earthrideshare! A ride share service offering all rides in Tesla vehicles. Nashville, starting Monday August 10th you can schedule a ride for $5. Click the link in their bio to learn more. pic.twitter.com/1aPdDv4NCO— Joe Minor (@byjoeminor) August 7, 2020
Twitter earth rideshare dialog talks about ridesharing for environmental reasons. We have choices to use electric cars over cars with gas emissions. We now have drivers of Tesla cars working with rideshare companies driving with no emissions. Facebook’s Earth Rides share many options of electric mobility and how they offer five doller rides. Social media platforms conversations allow us to share this information to help save our atmosphere.
In conclusion, some simple steps to help lower the number of emissions released in the atmosphere are walking, cycling, and rideshare for your local transportation needs. The Europeans have figured this out and running with it. It starts with awareness and finding solutions and applying them to our everyday lives, and making them our habits. I try to drive as my last resort for local errands. Sharing these tips on social media with family, friends, and others will continue to persuade individuals to make wise transportation choices that care for the climate possible.
References: Six Environmental Benefits of Walking.LOWA simple more. Retrieved November 19, 2020https://www.lowa.co.uk/lovelowa/74-six-environmental-benefits-of-walking