A common tip for going green is to look at your driving time. Actions such as combining errands can optimize your time behind the wheel, while reducing the amount of fuel you use and your contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. The other classic tip is to walk or bike on those shorter errands that are under one mile.
According to nonprofit organization, America Walks, over 40 percent of car trips in the United States are less than one mile. About one-quarter of your carbon footprint comes from transportation. As you can see, reductions here can make a big difference.
Trends in Fossil Fuel Consumption
Despite the use of ethanol and other green measures, fossil fuel consumption has risen 10 percent between 1990 and 2009. It has contributed to an overall 7.3 percent increase in total greenhouse gas emissions. With increases in population, these figures are likely to rise in the future. Clearly, the time for action is now.
The primary benefit of walking on those short errands is the reduction of greenhouse gas emission. However, you also stand to gain from that stroll to the store, especially if you make it a jog. Data from the Copenhagen City Heart study found that jogging for as little as a couple of hours a week can literally add years to your life. In the study, the life expectancy of men was 6.2 years longer and 5.6 years for women.
There are so many health benefits from being active. You can lower your blood pressure, prevent obesity and reduce your risk for developing diabetes. All of these conditions can indirectly increase your carbon footprint. Your decision to go green is therefore, not only the healthiest, but the best one for the environment.
The important thing to get active. A mile walk only takes 20 minutes at a leisurely pace. You’ll enjoy the added benefits of breaking up your day and relieving stress, all of which contribute to your good health. Some measures for going green require more input or significant lifestyle changes. This is one example where going green can actually feel good physically. To benefit the environment, go take a hike.