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In our mobile and fast-moving world, we often overlook how the way we get around affects our planet. Transportation is a major source of pollution, accounting for nearly one-third of all green house gas emissions in the United States. The environmental impact of our cars, trucks, buses, and planes has significant implications for our health and energy supply. However, standing still isn’t a very good option, either. So whether you live in a small town or a big city, check out some of these more sustainable ways to get from A to B.

The power of you

This one is easy. Walking or biking is unmatched in carbon-free transportation!

The health and environmental benefits of walking and bicycling extend to reduced fossil fuel use, carbon emissions, and roadway congestion. By opting to commute by foot or bike, you are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and gasoline usage — something good for the environment and your health. “Active transportation” also delivers health benefits that improve overall wellness due to the built-in exercise and reduced exposure to air pollutants.

Ditch the gas

Since the Honda Insight was introduced as the first mass-produced hybrid car in November 1999, electric vehicles have provided an eco-friendly alternative to traditional vehicles. They are known for achieving 20-35% better gas mileage and 29% less smog-producing nitrogen oxide, as well. Owning an electric vehicle also saves money otherwise spent on gas and costly repairs. Choosing to get around in an EV also demonstrates your commitment to clean energy and serves as a daily reminder to others how easy it is to choose more sustainable modes of transport.

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Ride with friends

Share the costs and space of commuting by car by pooling. According to the University of Washington’s Conservation Magazine, carpooling has the power to save the world (seriously!) due to its equally effective scalability in both big and small cities.

By choosing to carpool, you will be making positive contributions to fuel and energy efficiency causes. Talk to your family, friends, and colleagues about sharing rides to reduce overall traffic volume, road congestion, and harmful gas emissions.

Embrace new sustainable choices

Walking more places and carpooling to work are just a few of the many options you may have. Every year, more and new choices become available, including the proliferation of electric scooters around many major cities and expanding bike share programs. Some cities, like Denver, are even piloting e-bike programs for residents.

Many cities and communities are also investing in broader sustainable initiatives for their public transportation infrastructure — such as the hybrid-electric Charm City Transit bus fleet in Baltimore or the all-electric Zero Bus Fleet in Louisville. By researching and supporting similar projects in your local area, you can help the entire community lower its carbon footprint in a lasting way.

Whether you adopt one of the sustainable modes of transport discussed here or try out several, you will be making important decisions that affect how future generations will enjoy this planet.

From choosing to walk, bike, or carpool to investing in a car that does not rely on fossil fuels, there are many ways to make sustainable choices about transportation. These individual choices make a big difference.

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