Why is it important to travel efficiently?
Traveling efficiently is one of the most simplest yet impactful ways to contribute towards reducing our carbon footprint. The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons. Globally, the average is closer to 4 tons. With such an impact, it is integral for us to be aware of how we can improve our traveling to be eco-friendly.
Below are many ways in which we can travel efficiently. While it may seem difficult to implement in busy schedules, it is actually fairly easier than expected.
Ways and cases to travel efficiently:
Walking & Biking:
One of the easiest ways to travel efficiently is to walk or bike towards a destination. Walking and biking not only reduces carbon emissions, air pollutants, and noise pollution, but also yields many health benefits. Those who cycle and walk lower blood pressure, increase strength, lower stress levels, and more. For example, instead of taking a gas car for a simple trip to the nearby ice cream shop, a relaxing walk or bike can be much more efficient, beneficial, and enjoyable.
Public transportation is another way to travel efficiently that plays an important role in confronting environmental challenges. For example, many work in the busy city where traffic is concentrated. Instead of each person taking a single vehicle through 3-hour traffic to and from work everyday, using public transportation, especially in places like New York, can highly reduce overall carbon emissions. Utilizing public transportation can improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, facilitate compact development to conserve land, save energy, and more. While public transportation has carbon emissions, in metropolitan areas, the use of public transportation can reduce the overall vehicle emissions and the pollutants that create smog. It can reduce the need for many separate private vehicles in dense urban areas by replacing the emissions-producing vehicles with fewer transit vehicles that generally emit less pollution on a per person basis.
For many families across the country and around the world, cars are integral for travel from grocery stores to road trips. However, car use has not always been efficient. A group of 5 may travel in 5 different cars from the same place to reach the same destination. This inefficiency ultimately compiles into a large carbon footprint that could have been avoided. In order to combat this problem, groups should share rides, or carpool. This is highly beneficial in that participants drive less, reducing emissions and smog that contributes to asthma and other public health problems. For trips where walking, biking, or public transportation are not an option, sharing a ride can be a powerful way to cut down on car use.
Together, traveling efficiently can be highly beneficial in significantly reducing our carbon footprint for this generation and the next.