Why Take This Challenge?
If you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint, reducing your vehicle emissions is a great place to start. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 28% of the greenhouse gas emissions being released into the atmosphere come from vehicle transportation (https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks ). Additionally, driving a car requires the use of fossil fuels, which are nonrenewable, harmful to humans and animals, and pose a serious risk to waterways. Riding a bike or using public transportation are both great ways to reduce your greenhouse emissions and cut back on your fossil fuel usage.
How Does This Challenge Benefit Me?
The health benefits of riding your bike to work are numerous: biking helps to build muscle, burn fat, increase endurance, and lower blood pressure (https://biofriendlyplanet.com/green-alternatives/transportation/environmental-reasons-to-start-riding-your-bicycle-more/). Plus, skipping those frustrating traffic jams to enjoy some fresh air will doubtlessly have a positive impact on your mood!
If you decide to start using public transportation, the benefits include some free time to do some reading or catch up on your emails while you are driven to your destination. You also might save some money by not buying gas or paying for parking.
What if I Already Do This?
Keep up the good work and inspire your friends and family to join you on two wheels! If you ride your bike to work or school, invite your coworkers or classmates to “carpool” with you on your commute. And if your bus or train routes line up, your friends and coworkers might like to join you on your way to work or events.
Prep This Weekend for a More Sustainable Week
If you are going to ride your bike, check the weather and dress accordingly- choose clothing that will keep you comfortable and visible when you are on the road, as well as protecting you against the elements. You should also make sure your bike and tires are in good shape and carry a repair kit with you in case you get a flat tire. And remember safety first- always wear a helmet when you ride!
If you are traveling by bus or train, make sure you know which routes to take, and familiarize yourself with the pick-up schedules. Sometimes buses and trains can experience delays, but luckily many public transportation providers now provide phone apps that allow passengers to track the progress of the vehicles. And since you can sit back and relax during your ride in to work, don’t forget to bring a book or some headphones to enjoy on your commute!