Here we are at day three of No Impact Week, a collaborative initiative to reduce our carbon footprints and therefore, impact on the environment. Today’s topic: transportation.
Key question of the day: How is it that you leave an impact on the environment through your methods of transportation?
Unfortunately, I am guilty of driving too much. That said, I often carpool to dinners and other events when feasible. All of this considered, every time I start the engine to my car and drive, I am creating a harm on the surrounding ecosystems. Furthermore, I am negatively impacting the air in which we breathe. How is it that I can become more fuel efficient and conscience of the effects my transportation has on the environment? For one, I could and will ride my bike more often. I have a bike here on campus, but rarely use it beyond riding to and from buildings on campus. I have thought of riding it more, but unfortunately, most times when I travel off campus I am traveling with a bike-less commuter.
When I tried to reduce my transportation emissions today, I still found myself having to drive to the store six or so miles away in order to get a cheaper price on household items than what I could’ve received at the grocery one mile away. I did my best, but considerably reducing transportation emissions would seemingly be an impossible task for most of American society.
Through all of this the fact remains, transportation is the single largest source of air pollution in the United States. Which makes me question, how much of this is under the average person’s control? America’s infrastructure is extremely reliant on vehicle transportation and frankly, most roads are not bike-friendly. With the modern technology today, it is irrational for someone to walk ten miles in order to be more eco-friendly, when the society and culture that surrounds them sends hundreds of cars past them on a twenty minute walk. For America to make a significant impact we must look to our infrastructure and seek larger change. Until then, people like me will be stuck trying to make little and relatively irrelevant lifestyle changes in hope for a greater tomorrow. We can shift consumer culture only so far with our current infrastructure. That said, we can still choose to make smart and eco-friendly consumer choices. I can choose to walk an extra mile, or ride my bike instead of simply resorting to my car. I can choose to be more conscious and impact the environment in a positive way by reducing my carbon footprint.
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