Commuting for the Climate

Anyone who’s had to sit in rush hour traffic, or cram themselves onto public transportation, knows the pain of commuting. And it’s a big source of pollution – in 2014, the US transportation sector emitted 1,786 million metric tons of CO2, with over 85% of commuters traveling by car. Luckily, the tides seem to be turning, and there are more choices you can make to reduce your commute’s carbon footprint.

More People are Working Remotely

There’s no better way to reduce your commuting carbon footprint than to just eliminate your commute. The rise in technology has allowed more people to work remotely. According to a study from Zug, 70% of professionals work remotely at least some of the time, and 53% work remotely more than half the week. There are real benefits to this – besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions, higher productivity and/or satisfaction can result from less time spent commuting. In addition, more remote workers also means less strain on public transit and roads. State governments are pushing for this trend – in MA, governor Charlie Baker has proposed a tax credit for companies that allow employees to work remotely. Vermont also has an incentive program to attract new residents who can work remotely.

Ride Sharing and Bike Renting

Maybe the nature of your job doesn’t allow working remotely and thinking about the subway makes your blood pressure spike. Many people have turned to ride-hailing apps for their commute in recent years, but one person being driven around still has a big carbon footprint. If you can give yourself a few extra minutes, Lyft and Uber both have a carpooling option. The app will group you up with other riders heading the same way. You’ll save some money and reduce your environmental impact.

Another trend that’s been popping up is bike renting – many people ride their bikes to work, but it can be inconvenient to lug your bike around and find a place to lock it up securely. Bike sharing apps in certain cities let you check out a bike from a rack near you, and return it near your destination for someone else to use.

Of course, you can also help reduce our collective carbon footprint by joining a solar farm…

See how you can help Fight Climate Change locally by joining a Community Solar Farm.


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