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Seek green alternatives to traffic jams! Seek green alternatives to traffic jams!
Biking to work saves gas and is great exercise.The internet allows more people to work from home every year.Public transport is faster and more enjoyable than traffic jams!Yes! You can ride to work!

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Eco-friendly Commuting

Top Ten Ways to Become a Green Commuter

            With gridlock adding as much as a couple of extra hours to some people's drive to work, it's hard to not want to become a green commuter. High gas prices, traffic, and loss of time are all reasons why many people are turning to new solutions to solve the rush hour problems of the 8 to 5 work day. Becoming a green commuter may involve some changes on your part, but ultimately they benefit both you and the environment. To get you started, here is a list of the top ten ways to become a green commuter.

 1.   Carpool

Do any of your coworkers live along the route you drive to work? If so you're missing out on a great opportunity to carpool. Besides, it's a great way to squeeze your way into the carpool lane, and whiz past all those solo drivers.

2.     Walk or Bike to Work

Walking or biking to work is really only feasible if you life in the town or city where you work. But if you are within a few miles of work, and you're not biking or walking, you are really missing out on a great opportunity to become a green commuter. Not only will your commute have zero-carbon output, but you will also get exercise. Who needs to pay for a gym when you have a great exercise opportunity every day?

3.    Use Public Transportation

When gas prices in the US began to top $3 a gallon the country saw a steep rise in public transportation use, and why not? Public transportation costs far less than driving a car, and allows riders leisure time instead of road rage. It may seem daunting, following all those schedules and getting off at the right stop, but it's doable. Start out by just riding the bus or train one day a week, or riding with a fellow green commuter who already knows the route.

4.    Telecommute

While it may not be an option for everyone, the ultimate green commuter is a telecommuter. Your produce no carbon output from driving and keep one more car out of nasty gridlock. In 2004 about 44 million Americans worked from home at least part time. If your job involves a computer and a phone, it's more than likely that you can do it from home.

5.     Consider a Four Day Work Week

Did you know that if you work four ten hour days you save 20% in time and energy required by a five day commute? Not to mention you get a three day weekend. Many bosses are becoming open to the idea of four ten hour days, you should check and see if your boss is open to the idea.

6.     Maintain Your Car

      Underinflated tires, dirty air filters, and neglecting oil changes can all cause your car's             gas mileage to plummet. To become a green commuter use common sense and keep        your car in good shape. Usually a car needs an oil change every 3,000 miles, and most oil change shops will check your car's fluids and air filters as part of the service.

 7.      Slow Down

Every five miles an hour over 55mph reduces your fuel efficiency by 10%. If you simply ease up on the lead foot you'll have taken one more step towards becoming a green commuter. For most city commutes this is never an issue, but if you're driving in from the suburbs, it's a good idea to go the speed limit.

8.      Combine Your Errands

It makes no sense to drive to work on a Friday, then turn around and run errands on a Saturday. One of the best ways to become a green commuter is to combine your errands so that you can relax at home on the weekends. Try shopping after work or running to the post office during lunch. This leaves you with two gas, and worry free days at the end of the week.

9.     Stop Your Idle Engine

If you are sitting idle in your car for more than 30 seconds it's more fuel efficient to just shut your engine off. This also helps reduce emissions into the air. Think about the people in the parking lot, they don't want to breathe your car fumes, just like you don't want to breathe theirs.

10.     For Your Next Car, Think Fuel-Efficient

This is not to say that you need to ditch the truck you bought a year ago and go buy a hybrid, but when the time comes to buy a new car think about the eco-friendliness of the vehicle. Does anyone who doesn't have twelve children really need a SUV the size of a tank? Consider hybrid technologies as well as cars that use biodiesel or vegetable oil to run.

 At the end of the day, becoming a green commuter is probably easier than you thought it would be. Change is never effortless, but with determination we can make a difference in our own lives, and in the world around us.

Submitted by SuperGreenMe on Oct 1, 2008