The new year is almost upon us, and with it comes resolutions and possibilities. We all want to know how can become better people to ourselves and our communities, and work toward becoming responsible global citizens, especially in these critical times when environmental issues need our attention.
If you are looking for ways that you can help create a cleaner, greener, and more environmentally-conscious in the new year, here are some great (and easy!) transportation tips that will get you in the habit of being a part of the change we all need to see in this world.
Use Public Transportation
Public transportation may have a bad reputation, but cities all around the world have made it a priority to reinvigorate and clean up their public transportation systems to encourage usage by those who would normally commute by car to their offices and schools.
Public transportation incentive programs are popping up across the U.S., and businesses and cities are working together to reward commuters for opting for public transportation. Cities like Chicago and New York are even teaming up with their respective public libraries to offer complimentary reading materials to anyone using public transportation via their wi-fi connection.
There are apps that offer incentives too. The Metropia app rewards users for opting to skip being a part of the traffic jam and utilizing public transportation for events and at times of heightened traffic.
Stick to the Speed Limit
Did you know that the way that you drive can affect your gas mileage? Studies have shown that people who speed regularly, accelerate quickly at lights, and brake hard or often are reducing their overall gas mileage by as much as 33%?
When you consider how our reliance on gasoline, a fossil fuel, is a large part of our daily impact on climate change, it makes sense to be a more responsible driver and drive at reasonable, matching speeds with those around you instead of constantly speeding and slowing.
This doesn’t just include those who love to speed either—people who drive too slowly also contribute to traffic congestion and waste more gas than they need to by not driving at optimal speeds to feed their engines.
Use Your Body as a Motor
Have you heard the phrase “be your own motor?” It is becoming more and more popular to find opportunities to walk or bike when we can, and cities are working hard to become more bike and foot-traffic-friendly by increasing pathways and bike lanes as well as ensuring proper street maintenance for ease of mobility.
If you have the opportunity to walk or bike to reduce your time in traffic—even for just a few blocks—not only will you ease the pollution of your city, but you will also be creating a healthy exercise habit that is easy to stick to and intrinsically rewarding. We are designed to use our bodies to get where we’re going, and your body will reward you for making the more healthful choice.
Lobby Your Job to Offer Telecommuting Options
With more and more jobs becoming computer-reliant, it is not surprising that many jobs, from corporate to web design, can be done with home computers. Though we have seen a steep rise in new businesses choosing to let their employees telecommunicate, older, established companies are hesitant to make the change to work-from-home options.
If you work in the type of business that could accommodate telecommuting positions, even for one day a week, then you may be interested in becoming a company advocate for change. With some research, you can demonstrate to your company how telecommuting opportunities can improve not only the environment but office productivity and morale too.
Studies have shown that employers who opt for even part-time telecommuting have reduced rates of job turnover, a reduction in reports of employee stress, and a marked increase in employee satisfaction. There’s also the opportunity for your employer to boost your company’s environmental cred, which may attract potential clients and make them a stand-out business in the community.
Donate Your Trees
One of the very best ways that you can go green in the new year is to donate some green—literally. The Metropia app offers users lots of ways to use their reward points, one of which is the opportunity to donate your points to plant some trees.
Metropia has partnered with American Forests right from the very beginning to give the gift of clean air and renewed forests. By simply driving with the Metropia app and earning those redeemable points, you can help the world. When you choose to donate your points to plant new trees, you are making a huge impact on the environment with just the push of a button with the “Plant A Tree” feature.
Your contribution goes directly toward helping our forests grow instead of shrink, and you can see your donations in action by visiting our American Forests and reveling in the beauty of nature that you helped create.
Whatever way you decide to make our world a cleaner and greener place in the new year, one of the easiest ways to make a commitment to going green in the new year is to download the Metropia app. With Metropia, you can make informed mobility choices that affect the overall quality of your city by choosing alternate routes, reducing traffic, patronizing local merchants who support your efforts, and of course, planting some trees too.