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Green Living Certification
Chapter 4 - Simple Changes
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4.3 Transportation

This is a biggie, and there are not many "simple" changes you can consider that will make a big difference, but there are a few.

If you drive a car, there are a few small changes you can make (we'll talk about the more obvious, bigger changes in our "do more" chapter).

If you are heading to a location where you will be looking for parking, don't. Park in the first available space you see. The extra walk is good for you and for the environment, as driving around in circles looking for a space is bad environmental business.

You can walk more, whenever possible. If you live in the suburbs, it's hard to walk to the store for milk, but you can limit your trips and, if you work in the city, walk instead of drive for your lunch errands, for example.

If you live in the suburbs and drive to the city, take advantage of the carpools available to you to save your own money and help the environment all at once.

Should you switch to taking the train or subway? Is that better than carpooling? While we have been told for years that taking mass transportation is better than driving, some experts say that the resulting fossil fuel emissions from trains and subways is such that it might be better for people to drive fuel-efficient cars than to take the pollution-heavy trains and subways.

But as cities and counties make improvements to their trains and subways, they become more efficient and less damaging to the environment. If even thousands more people rode public transit each year, the benefits to fewer cars on the road will likely ultimately make a difference in fossil fuel emissions.

But that's not the final word and our advice is this - do what seems right for you. This is a simple change, remember. In the chapter on "do more", we'll talk about buying a hybrid car, but if your bent right now is to make small, but significant changes, consider how often you drive, what you drive (large or small vehicle) and what would work best for you (in many areas, there is no mass transportation available, or it takes more time than people have to get from point A to point B).

Once you have a good idea what would be best for you and the environment, make that change.

And remember that because this section is about making small but significant changes, any change you make for the better is good and worthwhile. If you and many others make these changes, the environment will ultimately benefit.


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