Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Perhaps the only positive outcome of Covid-19 in recent months, with businesses and transport across the world brought to a standstill; is mother nature regained an opportunity to regain her breath and flourish for a little while in peace, as pollution of all kinds subsided. Such as carbon emissions, noise pollution, and litter, across the earth there were less harmful gases and substance harming the environment, and it showed, as NASA revealed its satellite images of pollution over China had reduced immensely.
With various countries increasingly loosening their lockdown rules, some people are beginning to resume their usual daily life activities as they did before, such as using their ordinary means of transport to get around. In contrast, others who are aware of the positive effect lockdown has bought to nature, are more concerned about what their carbon footprint means to the environment, and in turn, want to make positive changes to reduce it.
There are multiple areas of your life you can alter to live a more environmentally-friendly existence, such as recycling, composting, and planting trees and flowers in your garden. Still, for this post, we’ll specifically look at eco-friendly travel options that are not only better for the environment but are better for your mental health too.
A bicycle is incredibly eco-friendly, but, thinking ahead about those steep roads you need to tackle on your next commute or trip to your parent’s house might get you in a fluster. The other option for those who prefer to ride alone is a motorcycle; however, it’s not good for the environment. The in-between solution being an E-bike. Take a look at the gtech escent 650b electric mountain bike review, to give you an idea of what’s out there at the moment, and what style bike will suit your commute. E-bikes are powered by electricity that’s generated as you cycle and can help you contain a consistent speed with ease. Meaning, you still get the benefits of low-intensity exercise, and your carbon footprint, on your biking trips, shall be non-existent.
Accompanying the benefits of opting for greener transport such as e-bikes is the health benefits too. According to the University of East Anglia, ‘a report reveals that people who stopped driving and started walking or cycling to work benefited from improved wellbeing.’
An average car has five seats, which means four more opportunities, besides the driver’s seat to get four other vehicles off the road by offering your friends, family, and co-workers a lift to your place of work, the park, and so forth. Not to mention, chipping in for petrol can reduce travel costs for all. This quote perfectly highlights the reality of commuting costs in contrast to salary.
It must be awfully frustrating to get a small raise at work and then have it all eaten by a higher cost of commuting. – Ben Bernanke
Moreover, carpooling with co-workers, as explained in psychology today, is useful to your wellbeing ‘Interacting with others boosts feelings of wellbeing and decreases feelings of depression. Research has shown that one sure way of improving your mood is to work on building social connections.’
When the sun is shining, and the shop you need to get to for some essentials isn’t too far away, why not swap the usual car journey for a stroll or power walk? Even if it’s raining, which because it’s Britain it most likely will, you can still pull on your wellies, and trudge through some muddy puddles on the way.
Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet – Thich Nhat Hanh.
Compared to driving, walks are particularly great for your mental health, part of which is taking time to soak in the scenery around you, especially if it’s nature. You can also release happy endorphins as your exercise and perhaps even shape up your physique, all why doing your part to protect the environment a little bit more. To support this point, Walking For Health explains, walking ‘improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood, and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue’.
Alongside walking and e-biking, one of the best ways to protect the environment from your carbon footprint is to opt for commuting entirely by remote working. Working from home is a particular favourite for introverts who prefer solitude overworking in the company of co-workers. With a necessity for most people, in recent months, to work from home, it’s given people and companies a taste of its effectiveness and benefits. For employees, alongside a reduced carbon footprint, less time spent traveling, and less money spent on travel means more time and money in your bank to play with. If you can work from home, and you like it, why not ask if you can make it a permanent thing?
Furthermore, commuting can weigh down a persons’ health. Especially if the travel time to and from work is particularly long. According to a survey performed in 2016, in connection with the University of Cambridge, and RAND Europe and Mercer, longer commutes impose an increased risk to health and wellbeing, higher potential for obesity, increased stress levels, higher blood pressure, and cholesterol, neck and back pain, and depression.
Change Work Hours
Depending on where you work, you may be able to ask about flexible working arrangements. In doing so, you can benefit from traveling at times where you commute will miss any traffic congestion which can exacerbate the pollution build-up when too many cars are trying to get to a similar destination at a set time.
Increased time spent in a car waiting in traffic is enough to make anyone frustrated, and stress levels heighten, which does little to preserve the fragile nature of your wellbeing. By opting for an alternative work schedule, you can create a better work-life balance and avoid the irritation and time wasted waiting in traffic that comes with the lack of progress made distance-wise on the motorway towards your place of work.
It turns out, eco-friendly travel not only benefits the earth, but it benefits us too. Whether improving fitness, social interaction, reducing stress levels, and high blood pressure, there’s more to gain from opting for eco-friendly travel than you might have initially thought.
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I hope you enjoyed this guide and found it useful. Let’s all take little steps to care for our environment and live more consciously this Christmas!
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Thanks for reading!