5 Ways You Can Reduce Excessive Driving
There are many changes you can make in your life to help reduce the effects of climate change, and one of the most impactful is to drive less. When you’re behind the wheel in a fuel-burning car, you create pollution, even during short drives. The fact that your vehicle is one of many on the roadways makes the situation even worse.
It may seem like it’s necessary to drive everywhere all the time, but that’s simply not the case. Consider these five ways to drive less while remaining healthy and productive.
1. Work Out At Home
One of the secrets of living a sustainable life is that you’re not only helping Mother Earth, but you’re also helping yourself. The act of going green can impact your health in many ways. For instance, you can switch to a healthier diet of organic foods that are tasty and are produced without pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals are dangerous because they can increase the risk of conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Plus, those pesticides can leak into the soil and be toxic to animals and non-target plants. Going green can also have positive effects on your mental health since you know you’re doing the right thing, and you can feel proud that you’re part of the solution.
You can continue to make a difference and improve your health by working out at home and turning your garage into a gym. If you decide to take on this project, start by decluttering and cleaning the garage so you have enough room to move about and fit in your exercise equipment. Then, create a floor plan of where you want everything to be. Since you likely plan to spend a lot of time there, consider upgrading the flooring to rubber mats and adding insulation in the walls so you can work out throughout the year. By working out at home, you’ll eliminate a lot of the back-and-forth driving that you do every week, and you’ll also save money on that expensive gym membership.
2. Be Smart About Errands
Another gas-guzzling activity you likely do each week is run errands. Sometimes, stores are farther away, so walking is not possible. However, you can still avoid excessive driving by pre-planning your chores. The best way to do that is to schedule one day of the week when you make all of your stops. Plan it out so you’re taking the most direct route and using the least fuel. If you have friends who also need to pick up dry cleaning or visit the grocery store, consider driving together and doing it all at once.
3. Ride Your Bike
When an errand, school, or work is nearby, ride your bike instead of driving. In addition to being an eco-friendly solution, biking is incredibly beneficial to your health. Biking gets your blood pumping, improves your cardiovascular health, helps with your balance, and it’s great for your mental health. A bike produces no pollution so it’s the best solution for getting from place to place next to walking.
4. Work From Home
Perhaps the best way to stay off of the roads as often as possible is to ask your job if you can work remotely from home. If it’s not entirely possible, ask if you can work a hybrid schedule where you spend a couple of days in the office and the rest at home. Since many commutes can be 30 minutes or more, even a hybrid schedule would do a lot to cut down on emissions and help the environment.
On the days when you are required to drive to work, ask coworkers about carpooling to the job. That’s a great way to cut down on pollution, and spending that time with your coworkers outside of the office can also help to improve your work relationships.
5. Prep Your Meals
Planning your meals ahead of time is another of the best ways to cut down on excessive driving. Many people go to work without any idea of what they want for lunch, and so when it comes time for their break, they drive around town looking for a meal to eat. In addition to increasing your risk of eating unhealthy fast food and trans fats, you’re also wasting gas. The same goes for nights and weekends when you realize it’s time for dinner, and you either drive to a restaurant or call a food service, and they have to drive to get to you.
A better solution is to plan out your meals. Sit down at the start of every new week and decide what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then, you can ride your bike or drive to the grocery store one time, gather all the food you need, and potentially eliminate driving the rest of the week. When planning your meals, be sure to organize your pantry and keep notes so you don’t go to the store just to waste gas and buy food that you already have.
When you stop and think about it, there are many ways to reduce excessive driving, and you’ll not only help the planet, but you’ll feel better because you're making a difference. Think about the changes you can make in your routine and enjoy life outside your car.