Our top swaps for a greener commute

Our top swaps for a greener commute

World Environment Day is just around the corner (5th June), and this year’s theme, as chosen by hosts China, is air pollution. Air pollution is one of those problems that can feel a lot bigger than just us as individuals – but actually, inadvertently, every day, we’re all contributing towards it. And one of the ways we do this is via our daily commute.

If we think, there are 26.5 million working people in England and Wales, 16.7 million of which either drive themselves to work (15.3 million) or catch a lift (1.4 million), that is a lot of car travel going on. And car travel, as handy as it is, contributes to air pollution. So, in honour of World Environment Day, we’ve come up with some easy swaps to make that commute a little greener…

Swap #1: Leave the car at home and…

  • Walk or cycle to work

If you live close enough to the office, this one’s a win-win – you’ll help the environment, and also look after your own health and wellbeing in the process. Tick!

  • Catch the bus or train

If exercising on your commute isn’t for you, check out public transport options in your area. You might find reading a good book en route to work is a whole lot better than being stuck behind the wheel in rush hour.

  • Carpool

Unless you work alone in the depths of the countryside, you’re probably doing a similar commute to someone else nearby, especially your colleagues. So why not share the drive? Who knows, it might even start up your own version of Carpool Karaoke…

Swap #2: If driving’s your only option…

  • Quit idling

We’ve all been guilty of sitting at a red light with the engine running, but doing so just adds to the exhaust fumes already in the air – and doesn’t help on the petrol front either. So, next time you’re at a standstill, switch the engine off and save yourself a few pennies.

  • Keep your tyres properly inflated

When your tyres aren’t inflated, they need more energy to move and maintain speed. More energy means more pollution (and again, more fuel needed). So check those tyres regularly and make sure they’re at their recommended pressure.

  • Stay zen on the road

Ok, ok, we know this one is easier said than done, especially when that car dangerously cuts in front of you. But, driving aggressively, rapidly accelerating and braking heavily, all contributes to the air pollution problem. And, you guessed it, costs you more in fuel! So be the bigger person and keep driving smoothly.

Swap #3: If you’re looking to trade in your old car…

  • Consider electric

Electric cars have zero exhaust emissions (yes, zero!) – meaning no harmful gases coming out of your exhaust pipe. This is great news for air pollution, and, with more manufacturers developing these cars and more charging points being installed, it’s 100% worth looking into.

  • Check out hybrid

If you’re not feeling brave enough to go for an all-electric vehicle, go for a middle ground and check out hybrid ones. Going hybrid will allow you to get a feel for driving electric, with the option of still using petrol or diesel.

  • Think green when doing your research

Whatever you go for, whether it be electric, hybrid, petrol or diesel, do your research first. Before you buy, think about how you use your vehicle – for example, do you spend a lot of time on the motorway or are you more of a city driver? This will help determine the best car for you and for the environment.

Now, all we ask is that on Wednesday 5th June you try out one of the above swaps on your commute. In doing so, you’ll be helping tackle the air pollution problem we face worldwide and, possibly, showing off your vocal range to your colleagues! Whatever you do, we’d love to hear about it.