How often do you walk instead of drive? Or use public transportation? Turns out, you should probably do so more often as opting for public transportation, walking or biking could save you from health-damaging stress and anxiety associated with driving — in addition to potentially saving you up to $14,000 a year.
Using alternative modes of transportation saves in so many other ways too, as depicted below. Public transportation only uses 1.4 miles to every 9 miles traveled by automobiles, which saves approximately 340 million of fuel as well as 37 metric tons of CO2 from being released into the environment.
But if saving the planet isn’t enough to convince you to walk, hop on the bus or board a train, lets look once again at what you stand to gain from making alternative travel arrangements to get from point A to point B. I speak from personal experience when I say it can change your life for the better!
Forced by the one-parking pass limit of our apartment building, my husband and I have been a one-car couple for almost four years now. This tends to shock most people. We often hear things like, “But what if you both need it?” or, “How do you both get to work?” What many fail to see is that we, unlike many that could do this but choose not to, walk or take public transportation as much as possible. In fact, as I write this, my husband and I are both in our respective offices, miles apart, while our one car sits in our parking lot at home…where it’s been sitting untouched for over a week now. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
For me, my walk to and fro work is my “me time.” It gives me 20-30 minutes every morning (yes, sometimes even in heels) to brain storm and create a mental to-do list for the day. On my 20-30 minute walk home, I reflect on the day and decompress. My husband shares similar sentiments. He takes the DC Metro to work every morning and he agrees that the time spent walking to the Metro and then riding to work is a priceless departure from the stresses of traffic, red lights, speed cameras and angry drivers.
Most importantly, though, we get sunshine, exercise and fresh air every morning and evening. With all of those benefits, we hardly reflect on the money we’re saving–though it’s nice to know that we are. Between only having one car, one car insurance payment and one gas tank to hardly fill, we’re certainly saving a bundle.
So what do you stand to gain from not driving?
1. A little extra money in your pocket: Anywhere from $9,000 – $14,000 a year according to the American Public Transportation Association. (Weren’t you just saying you needed a vacation?)
2. Mentally idle time to plan or reflect on your day: An op-ed piece in the New York Times last week opened my eyes to the importance of mentally idle time. When you’re taking a stroll or on public transportation, your brain is afforded a break. Likely, a much needed break that can lend to more clarity throughout your day.
3. A stress-free ride from point A to point B: Research indicates that your commute to and from work may actually be damaging your health in more ways than you realize. The stress and anxiety that can come from traffic jams and impatient drivers doesn’t belong in your life.
4. A stronger immune system: That’s right! Exposure to more germs will protect you in the long run! Grab the railing now and then and rub shoulders with a stranger–it’s good for you! Of course, don’t rub your eyes or touch your mouth until you wash with soap and water.
5. Exercise: Whether you choose to take the bus, bike or walk, you’ll gain add some steps to your daily routine which is always a good thing.
6. Boosted vitamin D levels: If you choose to walk or bike, you’ll earn a little extra time under the sun’s vitamin D boosting rays.
7. Peace of mind knowing your saved our planet from a little CO2: Per the below, by taking public transportation, walking or biking, you’ll be chipping in a little to save our planet from the massive about of CO2 we print on it every day.