How does it feel to get out of the car?
87% of Americans use cars to get around - to travel to work and school, run errands, visit friends, and more. But, traveling by car has a big impact on the environment, our wallet, and our health.
Cars produce about 1/3 of all air pollution and 1/5 of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Air pollution contributes to illnesses such as asthma, and greenhouse gas emissions build up in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Climate change will dramatically change the way humans live on this planet and have major effects on our communities, health, food, and more.
Cars cost a lot of money to purchase and maintain. On average, car owners spend about $8,500 a year on their cars. The government spends a lot of money on cars, too. Most of the roads in our country were created and are maintained for car use.
How we travel can also impact our health and well-being. Traveling by car makes it difficult to see and talk to other people in our neighborhood. Walking, biking, and riding public transportation can be more "active" ways to travel, helping our bodies stay healthy. Traveling outside - on bike or by foot - can also reduce stress, enhance concentration, and boost learning. Plus, it can be a lot of fun.
Practice traveling somewhere without your car
Step 1: Decide where to go
First, decide where you'd like to go and make sure it isn't too far. This is important, because a short car ride may turn into a much longer ride on a bike or public transportation. Look at this map of Winston-Salem Greenways to choose a destination near a bike or walking path or review the Winston-Salem Transit Authority website to choose a destination that you can get to by bus.
Step 2: Plan your route
Decide whether you want to walk, bike, or use public transportation. Use Google Maps or other virtual options to find a good route for your mode of transportation. Use the Winston-Salem Transit Authority's Trip Planner to plan your bus trip.
Step 3: Start traveling!
Don't forget to follow the usual safety protocols. Stay on the correct side of the road and wear a helmet if biking.
Take a photo of your walk/ride and share it on social media. Make sure to tag @peancorg and #PEAYoungLeaders to be entered into the weekly Young Eco Leaders Raffle.
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