It’s no secret that cars put out a lot of poisonous emissions into the air that are harmful to the environment. If you’re interested in going green, limiting your car usage is something you’re probably striving for. You might already use alternative transportation methods, such as walking or biking. Even if you aren’t a huge environmental activist, you can take on the task of walking to work for your own personal benefits.
There are a few main reasons why walking to work can actually improve your life, mindset, and overall life.
1. It will calm you
Rush hour traffic is certainly stressful, so avoiding that alone is one way to save yourself some headaches. Once you’ve gotten the hang of walking to work and have figured out the best route, you’ll learn how long it takes to get there. You won’t ever again have to worry about construction detours or accidents on the highway putting you in danger of being late for work. Listen to the birds chirping and take in nature’s beauty along the way.
2. It will help wake you up
Getting yourself a little sunshine in the morning is good for your soul. You won’t have to down quite as much coffee to get through the day. That little bit of exercise will stretch you out, get your blood flowing and you will start to burn off those calories you had for breakfast. You can even eat your breakfast on the go! For days when you are running low on time, you can carry with you a bottle of water and some toast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you can be sure you’ll never miss it again.
3. It will connect you to the community
As you walk through the streets of the community, you’ll start to notice things you hadn’t seen before. You might discover a new coffee shop or boutique. You can see what restaurants are having specials or what stores are having great sales. Meet the people who live or work in the area, and maybe even make a new friends. Check out the daily headlines at newsstands, and if you’re good at walking and reading, you can look through the newspaper on your way!
4. It will allow you to achieve more
For you morning people, getting yourself out of bed a little earlier allows you to get a lot of extra things done. This is especially true if your route to work allows you to stop and do some errands, as you’ll probably pass quite a few places that you wouldn’t want to stop for if you were driving. Drop off your dry cleaning, mail some letters, give your family or friends a call and catch up with them. Stop and get something to take in for lunch. Plus, you’ll be squeezing in that pesky exercise that many people “don’t have time for.” Start your day every morning with a go-getter attitude!
Is your commute too long to walk the entire distance? We understand that not everyone has the convenience of living close to where they work. Walking IS great for the environment and for your health, but it just isn’t feasible to spend 3 hours walking to work and three hours walking back. If it would take way too long to walk to and from work every day, consider these options.
If you’re close enough to work that you could make the walk in an hour or less, walk every once in a while. Pick a day a few times each month when the weather is beautiful and being outdoors would boost your spirits. Another possibility is to drive to work and maybe park a mile or so away. You’ll still get a nice boost of sunshine by walking from your car, but you won’t have to spend hours commuting to and from work.
If you’re not up for the extra exercise that walking or biking to work carries, consider other commuting alternatives that are environmentally friendly. If you live near a major city, you likely have public transportation that you can take advantage of. Taking the city bus will make your commute longer, with all the stops the bus has to make, but think of all you could get done while you’re riding along. Read a chapter of your favorite book, study for that exam you have on Friday, stream your favorite sitcom to your smart phone.
If you don’t have easy access to a transportation line or if you want to avoid using it, there are still more green options. You could also consider finding someone you work with who lives near you and carpooling with a co-worker. This way will allow you to save on money and catch up with your friend along the way.
Help save our environment whenever you can by saying “no” to cars every once in a while. See how long it would take you to walk to work, either the full distance or part of the distance, and give it a try tomorrow!