Why Drive Less?
Sure, driving less sounds nice and all. Improving our air quality would be great. But really, why should you step out of your comfort zone, change your routine, and give a new commute a try?
Not surprisingly, the health impacts of poor air quality are measurable and preventable. Both ozone (our summertime pollution) and PM 2.5 (wintertime particulates) have well documented health effects.
PM 2.5 is generated by burning fossil fuels (i.e. what comes out of your tailpipe). PMs are associated with both lung and heart diseases, including asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema and irregular heartbeat. These illnesses are responsible for increased school and work absences, ER visits and hospital stays.
Children, seniors and those with existing heart or lung issues are the most susceptible to health effects from Yellow and Red air days. But everyone can feel the impacts of poor air quality in minor symptoms like coughing and difficulty breathing.
QUALITY OF LIFE
People who take public transportation to work experience less stress during their commute and enjoy free time to work, read, listen to music or chat with other riders. Those who have never tried public transit are generally unaware of these benefits.
Many people who do try transit for the first time are surprised to see neighbors, coworkers and acquaintances faithfully taking transit to work and back.
Well, it’s not our little secret anymore! Join the literally millions of UTA riders each year by giving transit a try.
And don’t get us started on the benefits of Teleworking! Trading in your busy commute for a leisurely walk from your bedroom to the kitchen to your study, or staying put at the office for a conference call instead of a face-to-face meeting across town, can markedly improve your quality of life.
Most of us have never paused to consider it – but the truth is that driving can be really stressful. Don’t worry, you’ve got options! One Clear the Air Challenge participant told us –
“Once I started taking the bus and TRAX to work, I realized that my stress levels were decreasing. And then it hit me - I don’t like driving. I spend all my time tensed up behind the wheel, grumbling at other drivers and feeling guilty when I try to sneak a peek at my Smartphone at stoplights. Now, have a full ½ hour to prepare for my day in the morning and unwind after work. It’s fantastic!”
Imagine this: You wake up to a fresh foot of snow.
The roads look awful and when you turn on the television the news shows highways jammed with cars, trucks and semis.
Instead of steeling yourself for a long and stressful commute – what if you hopped on a bus, train, vanpool or carpool and let someone else do the driving? Now you can enjoy watching snowflakes fall from your cozy, warm seat and ignore the traffic completely.
Does your employer offer Teleworking? Lucky person, you don’t even have to brave the winter commute! Even those who cannot work from home can Telework by skipping an in-person meeting in favor of a conference call, video chat or webinar.
Seriously, give it a try. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And, in all honesty, who couldn’t use less stress in their life?