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Among the many ways you can make your life eco-friendlier is how you commute. You can take the steps necessary to make your drive or ride to work, school, and even the supermarket less taxing on the planet and better for its inhabitants. By slightly changing the way you do things, you make a positive impact. You do your part to protect the planet by making your actions align with your values.

Some of the easiest ways to make your commute eco-friendlier include:

  1. Walking or biking to your destination. You can easily impact the environment in a positive way by walking or riding your bicycle to school, work, and the neighborhood grocery store. Not only are you reducing carbon emissions, you’re also strengthening your body which is a win-win especially if you spend a great deal of time during the day sitting down. You’ll be in the best shape of your life and be better to the planet by walking or biking daily.
  2. Using public transportation. Ride the bus, trolley, train or subway to work. The price of a weekly or monthly pass pale in comparison to the upkeep needed to maintain a car. You also get to ride with other passengers who you can hold a conversation with or use the time to catch up on your favorite podcast, celebrity gossip magazine or literary classic.
  3. Buying an eco-friendly vehicle. Smarter vehicles exist and provide owners with options. If you want to own a vehicle but want it to do as little harm to the environment as possible, you’ll need to research brands to find the best buy available for the money you want to spend. Whether the vehicle is fully electric or a hybrid, know that you can continue to do good for the planet by limiting the number of trips you make to long distance ones and walking or biking the rest of the time.
  4. Carpooling with work colleagues, family, and friends. Make traveling by car count by riding with several people who are going to the same place. Carpooling helps reduce your personal carbon footprint by dividing it amongst the occupants in your vehicle. The next time you decide to drive, offer to take everyone you can within a short driving distance to their destination. That way, there aren’t multiple vehicles on the road with only one person in them.
  5. Purchasing carbon offset credits. There are companies that allow you to minimize the damage you create with a vehicle. Buying a few offset credits each year ensures that environment groups are able to do the clean-up efforts that are required of them. They have the funding and tools necessary to make fast work of a big job.
  6. Doing your errands at one time to minimize the number of trips you need to take. Instead of spreading out the things you need to do into multiple days and trips, why not try to do everything you can at once. You can pay your bills, drop off your laundry, and buy groceries all at the same time by choosing to patron businesses that are within a few blocks of one another in distance.
  7. Keeping your vehicle in excellent working order. That way, you won’t need to buy a new one anytime soon. You’ll also prevent it from letting off harmful chemicals into the air because of a broken or worn-out part. You can make one vehicle last for over a decade by caring for it carefully.
  8. Avoiding overfilling your automobile to the point where it affects its performance. You’ll get better gas mileage and better use out of your tires by emptying your car of unnecessary items. Excess weight takes a toll on a vehicle fast. Keep only the things you know you’ll need in it and bring the other items into your home where they belong.
  9. Packing your own lunch in reusable containers. That way you don’t need to make extra stops to buy food. You’ll also have less waste to recycle or throw away because you’ll have been mindful enough to use your reusable containers. All you’ll need to do is take them home with you and wash them so they’re ready to use again.
  10. Using a triple insulated bottle for hot and cold drinks and ditching the one-use cups and bottles. You’ll spend less and have fewer items to toss in the recycling bin. One bottle can keep hot and cold drinks at their desired temperatures for hours at a time, too. You’ll enjoy your beverage better that way and waste far less water or coffee.
  11. Dropping off your recycling along the way. You’ll be doing something good in the process. If you don’t have curbside pickup, you’ll need to bring your recycling to a facility or drop off point, anyway. Plan to do it on the way to or from work so you’re not making an extra trip.
  12. Donating your unwanted items to charity while en route. The same goes for charitable donations. You can make any trip in a vehicle eco-friendlier by donating goods that you no longer use to someone who needs them. It’s less that goes into the landfill.
  13. Sharing your habits with others who ride along with you. People are inspired by your good deeds. Share what you’re doing to help the planet by being an excellent example of a steward of the earth. Help them realize ways that they can make their own lives eco-friendlier.
  14. Listening to podcasts and radio shows that provide environmentally-friendly tips and advice. Learn something new while riding in your car or on public transportation. It will inspire you to change for the better and help protect the planet in the process. Load up your phone or tablet with content that you can listen to while you commute.
  15. Reading books from the library or secondhand shop that explain how you can improve your habits and relationship with the planet. Similar to audio content, visual content can inspire your planet-protecting journey. Do what you can to be a student of life. Pick up new tips and apply them to your life so that it is less destructive and more mindful of the environment.

You don’t need to rely on public transportation to have an eco-friendly commute. You can still own a vehicle and do your part to lower your carbon footprint. Put the suggestions listed above to good use this year. Everything you do for the environment is an investment in your and future generations’ well-being.