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How to Be Green about Getting to Work

Updated on June 24, 2009

 Almost everyone wants to do their part to create a healthier environment. If you commute to work five or six days per week then greening your commute could be the easiest thing that you can do to contribute to creating a better earth. You have a lot of options for being greener than you are with your commute to a job. Let’s explore some of those options:

Take Public Transit to Work

The majority of people who drive to work each day actually do have access to some form of public transit that they could take to work instead of driving. If you can take a local train or a bus to work then you should be doing that. Most people who choose not to do this will tell you that it’s too inconvenient. However, once you get in the habit of taking public transit, it’ll just be the norm for you every day and you won’t think twice about it anymore. It’s just making the adjustment to doing it that’s difficult. In the end, it’ll probably be worth it for you. Not only will you be doing your part to create a greener earth but you’ll also be saving yourself a lot of money since you’ll be using your car a lot less.

Walk or Bike to Work

People who live relatively close to their jobs can skip public transit and either walk or bicycle to work instead. This requires even more of an adjustment from driving than taking public transportation will. However, the benefits are even better. In this case, you not only save the earth and save some money but you get in your daily exercise at the same time. If you’re in a position to make this kind of change that it’s totally worth it to you to do that.

Carpool to Work

Some people just can’t take public transportation or walk to work. They live too far away or they don’t have access to public transit. In some cases, they have to drop kids off at school on the way to work and it just isn’t feasible to do that without a car. The best bet for you is to try to carpool to work. If you pack your car full of as many people as it holds then you reduce the number of actual cars on the road and this helps to make the earth a little bit greener each day.

Carpooling typically means pairing up with people at work and taking turns to drive each other there and back. It may also mean teaming up with other parents to carpool the kids to school before you go to work each day. However, you can also think about carpooling in your own family. If you, a spouse and a teen each drive during the day then think about all going in one car for a change. You might need to adjust your schedules a bit but you’ll be doing the earth a favor and it won’t actually require a huge change for most families.

Take Advantage of Rides Offered Through Work

If you work for a large company then the business itself may actually offer a green option for getting to and from work. Many large businesses now offer shuttles so that all of their employees get picked up in one van or bus every day. If you work for a smaller company, you might want to start talking to the bosses about the benefits of purchasing a company van and offering this service. Timing might not be right with the economy the way that it is but you can always start putting the idea out there. After all, most businesses want to show that they’re being green.

Spend Less Time at Work

If you don’t go into the office at all then you’re not going to be wasting resources getting to work. There are two major options available to you for spending less time at the office. One is to look at your options for telecommuting from home. As long as you engage in green computing practices in your home office this is the best method of green commuting that you could possibly implement. If that’s not an option in your workplace then you might want to see about moving to a four-day work week. You would still work the same number of hours but you would compress those hours into four days and would therefore avoid the commute on that fifth day. Plus you’d have a three day weekend every week which is nice!

Get a Greener Vehicle

If you absolutely can’t find a way to make any of these other green commuting options work then you may want to think seriously about investing in a greener vehicle. People who drive alone in their cars to and from work five days a week are putting a lot of pressure on the environment around them. Taking responsibility for that includes investing in a greener vehicle.

Do you even know what a green vehicle is? Most people think that a green vehicle has to mean a hybrid electric car. However, there are other choices as well. Get a vehicle that gets good gas mileage. Make sure that it is also low on emissions and pollutants. And try to look into the practices of the company that makes it; buying a car from a green company is going to be better for the earth than buying one from a company that makes green cars but doesn’t implement other green practices.

Do your part in whatever way you can!


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  • toomuchmint profile image

    toomuchmint 5 years ago

    Great hub! Taking public transit to work is a big step, but completely worthwhile. One of the most common reasons against it is "But what if I want to go somewhere?" It's a mental leap to recognize that if you're at work, you can't really go anywhere, because you have to work. Your freedom is already curtailed, and adding one more restriction isn't going to hurt.

    Thanks for the information!

  • Glenn Frank profile image

    Glenn Frank 8 years ago from Southern California

    I have the luxury of having 2/3 of my 13.5 mile commute be on a no-cars bike trail. But I still have about 4.5 miles of streets to navigate. I bought a recumbent trike and have been commuting with it now:

    I also have a youtube video about my commuting to work on my bent trike...