5+ Green Commuting Alternatives | Pollution Free Options
Last Updated on 26 April, 2021 20:31 by highreviews
The climate crisis is no longer a topic of debate, it is an unavoidable reality that world governments are finally having to engage with. Climate change has led to consistently rising temperatures and currently costs the world economy hundreds of billions per year. The need to adopt renewable and zero emission energy source has never been more urgent. Thankfully, world leaders seem to finally be taking the climate crisis seriously. We explore green commuting alternatives one can consider to combat climate change.
In April 2021, President Joe Biden pledged to halve US greenhouse emissions by 2030. During the same summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also pledged to slash UK greenhouse emissions by 78 percent by 2035. While global change will take considerable effort and international collaboration, there are many steps an individual can take on a personal level to help fight climate change. One of these is green commuting.
What is Green Commuting?
A green commute is an eco-friendly alternative to getting to and from work. Essentially, a green commute is any type of journey that does not involve a petrol or diesel car with a single driver. Green commuting can be as straightforward as walking or running to and from a place of work, although adopting public transport or carpooling can also be considered a form of green commuting.
Green commuting also brings with it many health benefits to the commuter, especially if you are adopting a travel method that requires physical activity. Below, we will explore some of the most popular alternatives to conventional car travel for those eager to engage with the green commuting philosophy.
Green Commuting Alternatives
We explore the following green commuting options to consider;
- Electric Cars
- E-Bikes / Electric Bikes
- Electric Scooters
- Roller Skates & Roller Blades
If your current commute involves many hours on the road behind the wheel of a car, the only real alternative to a diesel or hybrid car is an electric model. Many motorists are already making the switch to electric cars, with the UK government having already legislated a ban on the production of new diesel and petrol cars from 2030. Although the cost of an electric car can be considerable, many governments are offering grants to assist buyers looking to invest in low-emission vehicles.
Other jurisdictions are providing further benefits, including discounted tax on eligible vehicles. There are other cost-saving benefits to an electric car compared to a diesel or petrol model. Generally speaking, electric cars are cheaper to run, with far fewer maintenance costs to budget for.
If you are keen to go green with your commute, cycling is one of the most efficient methods of transport. Not only does a bicycle produce zero air pollution, it can also help improve your physical health. Cycling on a regular basis will not only help you shift calories, it will also yield considerable benefits for cardiovascular health.
Although a bicycle is not a practical option for those who need to undertake a particularly long commute to the office, a bicycle is an effective mode of transportation for those who only need to travel short distances. Many cities and larger towns also offer an extensive network of cycle paths that provides cyclists with a safer alternative to cycling alongside traffic. Bicycles are also relatively inexpensive, with nominal maintenance costs.
If a conventional bicycle is not a practical solution for tackling a long commute, it might be worth investing in an electric bike. E-bikes use high-capacity batteries that allow users to travel at speeds of up to 45 kilometres per hour. This makes them much faster than a standard bicycle. Electric bikes also offer you a pedal assist function, which takes some of the strain out of longer journeys. As you will not have to overexert yourself, they are also a good choice for those keen to arrive at the office without having worked up a sweat.
Although e-bike batteries need to be recharged regularly, a full charging cycle rarely takes longer than six hours. E-bikes are also relatively affordable and cheap to maintain.
Electric scooters have experienced a surface in popularity in recent years. Superficially, electric scooters look fairly similar to standard scooters. However, the key difference between the two is that an electric scooter makes use of a battery and motor, which drives one or both wheels to propel the scooter forward. Electric scooters are relatively easy to operate, while maximum speeds of 24 kilometres per hour make them an effective choice for those needing to cover plenty of ground.
However, before you start thinking about cancelling your rail or bus pass, you need to consider local laws and restrictions relating to electric scooters. In the United Kingdom for example, it is currently illegal to operate an electric scooter in public.
You can still purchase one and use it on private land, but you will not be able to use it to commute with. However, this may change in the near future. The UK government is currently trialling electric scooter schemes in some regions, which many hope will lead to them being legalised for use on pavements and roads going forward.
Roller Skates & Roller Blades
Rollerblading to work is another option for those looking to switch to green commuting. However, there are far more things to take into account when compared to other green commuting options. For starters, you will need to be a confident user in order to remain on your feet and achieve decent speeds. It can also be difficult to navigate your way along pavements while avoiding pedestrians, while skating on busy roads is also something you should try and avoid.
You also need to consider the condition of the surfaces you are skating on. Rollerblades and skates are generally designed for smooth surfaces, so a potholed road or uneven pavement will prove difficult to traverse. Likewise, wet surfaces and roller skates do not go well together. If you want to give rollerblading to work a try, make sure you have invested in a quality pair of adult inline skates.
This is an obvious option for those looking to adopt an environmentally-friendly approach to commuting. If your place of work can be reached on foot within 30 minutes, there really is no excuse for not walking to work on a daily basis. Walking just half an hour a day will also massively benefit your health. Furthermore, walking involves no costs whatsoever.
In addition to lowering your carbon footprint, you may also want to use a green commute as a way to improve your physical health. Running to work on a regular basis is not only an eco-friendly way to travel, it also brings significant health benefits. There are some drawbacks, however. You will no doubt work up a sweat during your travel, so you will need to commute in running gear before changing into office appropriate clothes once you reach your destination.
Washing and showering facilities are also advantageous for those running to work on a regular basis. There are also a few nominal costs to consider if you want to start running to work. You will need reliable running shoes and suitable clothing for all weather conditions, as well as a sturdy backpack to carry items needed for work.
Other Ways to Go Green
Although most people should be able to adopt one of the above alternatives for commuting to work, they are not practical for everyone. An easy and inexpensive way to reduce your air pollution contributions is to ditch travelling by car and start using public transport.
Every city and most large towns will offer excellent rail and bus links. If your usual commute involves covering a more considerable distance, you may also want to consider seeking out carpool arrangements with colleagues.
If you want to say goodbye to commuting entirely, you can also think about pursuing remote working opportunities. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses have had to adopt remote working as standard operation. Even if you only work from home once or twice a week, this will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.