Cars are one of the biggest contributors to air pollution in the U.S. We’ve become so dependent on cars to perform essential daily tasks. One such task is commuting to work. Based on recent census data, 85 percent of Americans travel to work via car and only nine percent of this group carpools. The reality is that one less car on the road can have a huge impact on the environment, and you don’t need to banish your car to make a difference.
Begin by starting the conversation in your workplace. Brainstorm possible commuting alternatives with your employees and remember that some options are not realistic for everyone. An employee living in a cold climate may not jump on the chance to bike ten miles during the winter months. Other employees may not live within walking distance of a bus stop or train station. While bike riding and public transportation are ideal, there are plenty of other ways to create an eco-friendly commute.
Consider one of these options in your workplace:
Create a carpool program. Many employees want to carpool, but haven’t put the effort into asking around. Create a simple online survey to gauge where people live and who’s interested.
Consider alternative schedules. Suggest to upper management the option of working longer hours, but fewer days.
Try telecommuting. If you’re in a field where some of the work can be done from home, seek permission to stay home one or more days each week. When forming your argument to work from home, be sure to include the amount of productivity hours saved by not commuting.
Still need to drive to work? Follow these tips for conserving energy:
If you anticipate idling for more than 60 seconds, turn the engine off.
Unload those golf clubs you aren’t using from the trunk. One percent of fuel efficiency is lost for every additional 50 pounds you carry.
Limit the use of cruise control.
Avoid unnecessary, sudden breaking. Coast into stops when safe to do so.
Turn off the AC and roll down the windows more often.
Written by: Mary Kavanaugh, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about Wellness Workdays and our wellness program offerings by downloading our brochure.