A key contributor to carbon emissions into the atmosphere is the U.S. transportation system. The vast majority of people in the U.S. drive in a vehicle by themselves to work. There are three main ways to reduce your individual impact on the planet and create a more sustainable lifestyle. Not only will these actions lower your carbon footprint, but they could also have a positive impact on your finances, your health, and your relationships.
The most potentially beneficial alternative to driving a vehicle is to bicycle. Bicycle infrastructure in the Palouse is quite extensive, and gives individuals a safe, effective route to commute relatively long distances using this form of transportation. Besides lowering your carbon footprint, bicycling is an effective form of exercise. Bicycling can also save you money that you would otherwise be spending on gas. According to a CNN report in 2011, households spend an average of $368 a month on gasoline. While it can be difficult to make the initial effort to transition from driving to biking, the dividends can be significant.
Another form of alternative transportation is to use the local bus service. In cities like Moscow and Pullman, the bus service can take you virtually anywhere you need. In addition to cutting down on your individual carbon footprint, riding the bus can be cheaper than driving everywhere, and can provide opportunities to meet new people in the community! You can find the Moscow and Pullman bus schedules online!
Carpooling is another opportunity to make a sustainable lifestyle change. By commuting to work with other individuals at your office or individuals who work near your location, you are saving money, building relationships with coworkers, and saving gas! There is a great resource for folks in the Palouse who are interested in connecting with other carpool participants called Palouse Rideshare, where you can connect with individuals looking to lower there carbon footprint as well.