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Green Ways of Commuting

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You can be green even outside your home by using alternate methods of getting around, like carpooling, taking public transportation, and walking or biking. As a bonus, you won’t have to worry about high gas prices!

Now that you're in your new home, you may feel like you have more of a blank slate than you did before. These are wonderful times to change your habit patterns for the better, since you have to adjust to change anyway. You're going to be getting to work a different way now, at the very least because you've changed location. Why not consider getting there by a different method, too?

62 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from light-duty vehicles (cars, vans, pickup trucks, SUVs). When you consider this, the price of gas, and the general hassles that are the morning and evening commutes, an eco-friendly commute starts to sound pretty enticing. The options open to you are varied and flexible. Change is always difficult, but giving one or more of these ideas an honest shot could turn out to be a great thing for you and the planet.

Walking or biking

There's nothing wrong with taking part in a little physical activity each day. Getting your blood flowing before and after work is going to help keep you awake while you're there and restful when you get home.

Biking in a busy area can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated. Remember, it's okay to ease yourself into things. Start with biking once or twice a week, and try to find someone who's more experienced. He or she might be able to give you some pointers or even take you on a trial run.

Public transportation

You might be in a new town, or even a new state, after this move. Do some research on the public transportation available to you. How close is the nearest bus stop or train station? You might be surprised. Get a schedule, put it on your fridge, and try it out a couple of times. Even if you only do it on Mondays or Fridays, you'll still be cutting down on emissions.

Some companies and states have provided incentives for using public transit, including tax breaks, financial incentives, and free rides. Look into whether or not one or more of these would be available to you.


This is straightforward enough; see if there is anyone in your office that wants to carpool. Maybe you've moved a lot closer to a coworker or two than you were before. This will save all involved parties some money, plus you get to use the carpool lane! If there is no one in your office who is available (or there are too many people to get to), there are services online, like, that will help you find other people in your area that are looking to carpool.

Fuel-efficient vehicles

By far the most expensive way to green up your commute is to purchase another car, or to have your current one altered to accept other fuel. It is, however, very effective. Other than hybrids, biodiesel, hydrogen cell, electric, and natural gas engines are all alternatives to gasoline. If you decide to go this route, you'll want to really do your homework and see what the most viable option for you is.

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on January 11, 2010

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