This week Greenovate participated in the Massachusetts Clean Air Challenge. Each day a member of Boston’s Office of Environment, Energy, and Open Space (and some friends from the community) shared the story behind their green commutes. (Except for carpool day — it seems hardly anyone in our office drives at all!) Some took public transit, a few walked, lots of people biked — and some even commuted to work by scooter! It was a fun way to celebrate the many low-emission transportation options we have here in Boston. (Photo: Greenovate Boston Program Manager Jessica Feldish, The City of Boston’s Climate and Environmental Planning Program Manager Haidee Janak, and Recycling Policy Director Susan Cascino bike to work every day.)
The Clean Air Challenge draws to a close this weekend — but we hope it’s inspired you make green commutes a regular part of your life. Here are some examples of green commutes — and resources for giving them a try! (Fun theme names courtesy of Mass Commute!)
Double up/Carry more (Carpool or Vanpool)
Carpooling is a great way to cut emissions, save on the cost of gas, and get to know people. Many Transportation Management Associations in Massachusetts provide incentives for carpooling. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Carpool Program encourages ridesharing and the use of high occupancy vehicles. MassDOT provides discounts to commuters who travel with three or more people in their private passenger vehicle and use the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) or the Sumner/Ted Williams Tunnels.
Right on Track (Transit)
Ah, the T. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates a regional network of subway, bus, commuter rail, accessible vans, and boats. To see which routes will take you where you want to go, explore their trip planner.
Want to be aware of extended hours for holidays and events, service delays, or new stations? Sign up to get customized T service alerts. Only want information about the Blue Line during the morning rush hour? That’s all you’ll get!
Best Foot Forward (Walk)
This year Boston was ranked the third most walkable city in the U.S. Given our historic neighborhoods, green spaces, and active populace, that’s no surprise. Local pedestrian advocacy organization WalkBoston provides recommendations for interesting and pedestrian-friendly routes around more than 30 of Boston’s neighborhoods. Explore the routes and try one out!
Stay Put (Telecommute)
One very effective way to reduce travel-based emissions is to stay put! Many employers support working from home. Careful planning and scheduling can allow you to minimize travel impacts and boost productivity. Ask your employer about working from home one day per week or month.
Pedal On (Bikers)
Boston is home to a passionate biking community. The City of Boston recognizes the major benefits that biking has for our environment and for public health — and it’s working to promote this efficient and fun type of green commuting. The City’s Boston Bikes program provides a wide range of resources for biking newbies and veterans alike. They offer helpful safety tips and “bike etiquette” primers, low cost helmets, women’s programs, youth programs, bike lane maps, and so much more. Check them out!
Choosing green commutes is one of the easiest, and most fun ways to cut down on emissions and support healthy air quality for all in our city. Challenge yourself to try a new type of commute — you may just find your new favorite way to navigate the city!