Does Your Commute Pollute More Than Planes?
Includes 5 Tips on How to Live a Green Life.
There are many benefits to living green, and ample opportunities for each one of us to shift out of our last-century habits – many of which are not planet-friendly – and into a life-style that is just as exciting, comfortable and easy, while being far more carbon-neutral. Here are just a few of the benefits of living a green life…
To start the process, simply begin with the 4 R’s of Living Green.
Refuse plastic, fossil fuels, water waste and pollutants every chance you get.
Reduce consumption. This includes our wardrobe, our landscaping & our transportation.
Reuse containers. Buy food in bulk. Bring our own to-go box. Support local Farmer’s Markets.
Recycle. Many cities are now even composting food waste, which makes up 20% of the garbage in America.
So, how can you save thousands annually and enjoy greater health by starting with the first of the 4 R’s – Refuse? Below are a few examples of how refusing to go with the status quo can change everything and become the new normal, with ample personal and Mother Nature gain and benefits.
There has been a lot of focus on plane-shaming, and less focus on the pollution caused by the daily commute. When you factor in that most people are in a single-occupancy vehicle, the grams of CO2 used per km could be as high as 220g. That puts the carbon footprint of a single commuter higher than if that same person were in a plane. (The 285 g CO2 per km figure cited by the European Environment Agency assumes 88 passengers, whereas most U.S. planes have a much higher occupancy rate, at closer to 115 passengers.) So, if you’re plane-shaming, while commuting to work every day, then it’s time to look at the man in the mirror. A single-use vehicle is as polluting as travel by air – more so if you do it every day.
Can you opt for mass transit, cycling, ride-share or an e-scooter? Should you move closer to work? Yes, you’ll have to rethink your life from the core of your foundation. The savings of ditching the car could add up to $7,500 annually, when you add up the cost of the car payment, car insurance, gasoline, maintenance, parking, tickets, etc. However, if you do, then the savings can fuel you to a much richer life. The lifestyle choice of biking and walking more will keep you healthy, fit and strong. Li Watkins, a bike commuter in Dorset, England, notes that she gained 10 pounds when she was commuting by car!
If you can videoconference instead of flying, you can save yourself and/or the company thousands of dollars in airfare, lodging and per diem, while doing the right thing by the planet. You might even rethink your vacations to support a more planet-friendly approach. However, if you have eliminated your daily commute, you might feel better about exploring another part of the world now and again.
The bigger the appliance, the more fuel needed to power it. This applies to planes, trains and automobiles, space craft, and also home appliances, elevators, escalators and air conditioning. Choosing renewables over fossil fuels is a big part of the solution. However, refusing to use big appliances that you don’t really need is an even bigger piece of the equation. Refusing to take the elevator, and opting for the stairs, promotes good health for you and the planet. Taking the train, instead of driving yourself to work, dramatically reduces your carbon footprint – even if you’re driving an electric car.
Did you know that the power grid in the U.S. is still 62% fossil fuels and 19% nuclear?
In some states, the mix is even higher, with 83% fossil fuels in Florida and 77% fossil fuel in Colorado. That compares to 38% fossil fuels and 42% hydro and renewables in California. Check up on your state by going to SPOT, sponsored by the Center for the New Energy Economy.
So, can you take the stairs, choose mass transit for your daily commute, better insulate your home, walk to the store for your milk and toilet paper daily, turn down the thermostat at work each evening and at home during the day, and install a timer or on/off switch on your water heater? The savings of these smart energy choices can be in the thousands annually. Making a green life, green in the sense of money, too.
There are many ways to say no to plastic.
Remember: there is no excuse for single use.
Refuse to follow last century thinking.
The Nuclear Family is outdated, as is the McMansion. Intergenerational housing is becoming en vogue. So, how can you rethink your family lifestyle in ways that will have each family member saving a lot of money, while still enjoying personal space? What are the benefits of sharing common spaces, like the dining room and kitchen, and perhaps even cooking duties? Can you stop making the landlord rich, when you bring the family into one home, instead of having everyone living in their own tiny (and expensive) pod?
These are just some of the ways that we can refuse to be trapped in an unsustainable lifestyle that was created for the last century – from a cost of living standpoint for us as individuals and from a planet depleting standpoint in our general collective. It’s time to stop passing the blame off onto others and to be the change we wish to see. There is a lot of currency in change, for a richer life today, and to pass on a nurturing, flourishing home planet to the generations to come.
Get additional information in my 4-part Living Green Teleconference series, every Tuesday at 3:00 pm PT in January 2020. Email info@NataliePace.com or call our offices at 310-430-2397 to register now.
Download your free Future Earth and Clean Living ebooks by clicking on the book covers directly below.
Watch an inspiring 4-minute sustainability film on earthgratitude.org/EarthGratitude.org.
Learn more about 2 eco-communities designed by Nature’s Prince, aka The Prince of Wales (click on the blue-highlight to access).
Learn how to live a green, rich life, while putting your money where your heart is, at my Investor Educational Retreats. Call 310-430-2397 or email info@NataliePace.com to learn more now. Choose from February in Florida (beachfront), April in Poundbury, England (for an Earth Day celebration) or June in Santa Monica, California (100% solar-powered since 2018!).
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Please note: Natalie Pace does not act or operate like a broker. She reports on financial news, and is one of the most trusted sources of financial literacy, education and forensic analysis in the world. Natalie Pace educates and informs individual investors to give investors a competitive edge in their personal decision-making. Any publicly traded companies or funds mentioned by Natalie Pace are not intended to be buy or sell recommendations.
ALWAYS do your research and consult an experienced, reputable financial professional before buying or selling any security, and consider your long-term goals and strategies. Investors should NOT be all in on any asset class or individual stocks. Your retirement plan should reflect a diversified strategy, which has been designed with the assistance of a financial professional who is familiar with your goals, risk tolerance, tax needs and more. The "trading" portion of your portfolio should be a very small part of your investment strategy, and the amount of money you invest into individual companies should never be greater than your experience, wisdom, knowledge and patience.
Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable however NataliePace.com does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Opinions constitute our judgment as of the date of this publication and are subject to change without notice. This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. Securities, financial instruments or strategies mentioned herein may not be suitable for all investors.
Natalie Pace is the co-creator of the Earth Gratitude Project and the author of The Gratitude Game, The ABCs of Money and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is. She blogs on Huffington Post and Medium, and is a frequent guest contributor to national news shows and magazines. She has been ranked the No. 1 stock picker, above over 830 A-list pundits, by an independent tracking agency, and has been saving homes and nest eggs since 1999.