Are you ready to commit to a sustainable commute that’s good for the environment? While you can act any day, a day to celebrate our earth is usually a great motivator to make a change.
Earth Day is April 22, and it marks the anniversary date of the founding of the modern environmental movement. Green commuting and Earth Day principles go hand in hand, as both movements want to lower carbon dioxide emissions that pollute the earth.
Here’s a look at Earth Day’s history and what we can do to help our planet as part of our commute.
Earth Day’s beginnings
Earth Day was founded in 1970. Organizers wanted to create a day that educated people about the world’s environmental issues. Initially, it was considered a national teach-in about the environment. Senator Gaylord Nelson came up with the idea and selected a day that helped maximize the students on college campuses that could participate.
That all came when there was massive pollution occurring across the United States. Factories were significant sources of pollution, harming rivers, lakes, and the air in the communities where they were located. Cars were also major pollutants because they guzzled gas and sent exhaust into the air. There were hardly any recycling programs at the time too.
The first Earth Day helped raise awareness of the issues facing the environment. Organizers had rallies in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Today, you’re likely to find rallies in your communities. People participate in The Great Global Cleanup, where billions of trash are being removed from neighborhoods, lakes, beaches, parks, and many other places. The goal is to improve the habitat and keep both wildlife and humans safe.
Commuting has an impact on the environment
The dominant method of commuting is the solo car commute. The Environmental Protection Agency says a passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, with the type of fuel used, the vehicle’s fuel economy, and the number of miles driven in a year factoring into a vehicle’s number. The typical car has about 22 miles per gallon and is driven 11,500 miles per year. Each gallon creates more than 8,880 grams of carbon dioxide.
The passenger car is one of many reasons why the transportation sector is the #1 sector for greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and responsible for about 25 percent of all emissions across the globe. Those harmful gas emissions contribute to global warming and ozone layer depletion.
It has become crucial to invest in sustainable transportation methods. Not only that, but the transportation methods must be environmentally friendly and must produce the minimum amount of air pollution possible.
While it is not perfect, public transportation is one of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has an impact on climate change. It can reduce the number of single-occupant cars on the road during commuting hours and the widespread use of vehicles.
In fact, public transportation is believed to save the equivalent of electricity generated from every household in New York City, Washington, D.C., Denver, Los Angeles, and Atlanta combined. On a microscopic level, when a single person commutes on a 20-mile round trip car switches to public transit, they can reduce their CO2 emissions by 4,800 pounds per year. That’s the same as having a family with two vehicles cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent.
A green commute
Earth Day presents an excellent opportunity for people to leave their cars in the driveway and try a different way to commute for a day. Some local transit communities go as far as offering cash rewards to commuters who try something new.
There are many different options for commuting with public transportation such as buses, subways, ferries, trains, trolleys, water taxis, light rail, rideshare, vanpools, and more.
There’s also micromobility commuting. Commuters or employers can rent electric bikes, electric scooters, mopeds, and more. You will be gaining a lot of benefits while trying to keep the environment pollution-free, mainly if you give micromobility commuting a shot.
Since more people are now aware of the environmental damage that traditional commute has resulted in, they’re looking towards gaining the benefits of a green commute. Some of those benefits include:
- Reduction in road congestion, traffic, and vehicle idling (i.e., that usually results in excessive air pollution and fuel wastage)
- Safer and faster commutes
- Saves money on fuel, repairs, maintenance, and constant individual vehicle upgrades
- Improvement in mental and physical health
Add commuter benefits to your benefits package
Working towards environmental friendliness doesn’t just revolve around eliminating plastic from society. It also extends to the use of sustainable transportation methods. While the list of green vehicles and transportation products keeps expanding, it’s worth it to avoid unsustainable transportation modes.
If you’re looking to add new benefits that helps your employees reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money, commuter benefits are something to consider. Give your employees the opportunity to use tax-free dollars on commuting costs and keep more of what they earn in their paycheck. Companies that offer commuter benefits also save money by reducing payroll taxes.
Your employees will have access to parking and transit benefits, as well as shared mobility options such as biking, bike sharing, e-scooter sharing, ridesharing services, and corporate shuttles.
Schedule a meeting with us today so we can discuss what your options are and help you get started.