The Joys of Using Feet, Bikes and Transit to Get Around

The UUC Climate Action Team invites you to lower your travel footprint by finding a more sustainable way to get to church on Earth Day, Sunday, April 24. Give back to the Earth, by treading lightly and lovingly. Imagine new possibilities!

We’re finding more and more examples of UUC members getting around with a very light travel footprint. Here are Maureen Jackson and Donna Schaeffer who have gone carless and found the joys of using feet, bikes and mass transit to get around. Below are their thoughts on the benefits of reducing their carbon footprint:

Maureen and Donna standing together at a bus stop

1. Walking and moving around more outside (walking to and from bus stop, biking, etc). For some of us being outdoors can be an instant lift to one’s mood. It just feels right to be outdoors. Also, it can feel good to move around and stand on a bus or train (after all, they say that over-sitting is the new smoking).

2. Cars are inherently noisy and harmful to humans and other critters. By using feet, bikes or mass transit or “greening” someone else’s ride, we contribute to a quieter, safer world. 

3. Knowing the city at street level (like what businesses have closed or where there’s an unexpected wildlife area as you walk from Northgate Kaiser back to the light rail).

4. Socializing: talking to bus riders, bus drivers, pedestrians, et al. (especially interesting after an important election, like Obama’s!)

5. Spending less money on transportation costs: you pay for things like an Orca card and ride share programs (like Zipcar or AAA-Gig Car for larger errands) that can total as little as $500/year, depending on your car usage and age (there is a senior Orca fare). Typically car owners pay much more than that for gas, tune-ups, oil changes, and auto insurance (not to mention monthly car payments).

6. Safety: on snow days it can be safer to ride a bus on a snow route (which are always on the level) rather than a car (unless the driver has experience driving in snow).

7. Time: it can sometimes take less time to get around on the bus.  For example, downtown parking garages can take a lot of time to get out of after a popular event like the symphony, sports game, 4th of July fireworks, etc.  A bus can sometimes be quicker.

8. Getting out of town: it’s still easy, affordable, and environmentally friendly to take trips without a car. You can take the train, travel with friends, or rent a car. It also can be fun to explore the mass transit systems or biking options of a city you are going to. Keep enjoying using feet, bikes, and mass transit when away from home!

Maureen Jackson and Donna Schaeffer

See also the Climate Action Team’s previous articles on carpooling and electric cars, on bicycling to church and information about using public transit to get to church.

1 Response

  1. Julie F. says:

    Love these articles! I walk to UUC many Sundays. It’s about 6 miles RT, which is my daily goal.