Saving the Planet, One Commute at a Time
Save money, reduce your carbon footprint and be healthier with these easy tips
Commuting by car has a marked impact on your health, on the planet and on your wallet. The average commute in a small car produces 1.4 tons of carbon dioxide each year while a large SUV will produce 3.8 tons. Your contribution isn’t negligible; about 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Canada are produced by vehicles.
Diving is bad for your Health
Driving costs you money in fuel, car maintenance and insurance as well as in medical bills. Even if every Canadian commuter left their car at home for just one day a week, it would save about 3.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Driving is also bad for your health. Each hour spent driving per day increases the risk of obesity by 6% while each kilometre walked will reduce your obesity risk by 4.8%. Biking every day can reduce your risk of premature death by a third. The World Health Organization has created a tool to help you to estimate the benefits of switching your commute to biking or walking. You can access the tool here.
Finding an alternative way to commute to work even for a couple of days a week can really save you money and can reduce your carbon footprint. Walking and biking are the obvious winners for your wallet and your health. Public transport can also help to curb pollution and reduce your costs.
If you Must Drive
There is much you can do to reduce the effect your driving has on the planet.
- Keep your car well-maintained to ensure it runs efficiently.
- Keep your tires at the correct pressure to reduce fuel consumption.
- Reduce drag on the car by removing racks for bikes and skis and storage containers when not in use. Don’t put flags or other decorations on your car that will reduce your fuel efficiency.
- Avoid idling. If you plan to stop for more than 10 seconds, turn your car off.
- Reduce fuel consumption by removing any items from your car that aren’t being used.
- Source the cheapest fuel in your area with apps like GasBuddy.
Do you have an idea for an article?
Tell us what’s on your mind and your eco-friendly suggestion might be turned into a story.