Since mid-November, residents of B.C have been rationing their gas consumption, to ensure there is supply for emergency and essential services vehicles responding to the heavy rains and flooding that have impacted the southwestern part of the province.
What’s your commuting routine?
In times of busy-ness, especially as we approach the holiday season, it can be difficult to consider altering our means of transportation. How we get around, especially during our commute, plays such a prominent part of our day-to-day lives, and can get especially complicated when family members, additional responsibilities, pets, and unpredictable weather are thrown into the mix!
However, given the gas-ration currently in place, and the multitude of benefits that arise from decreased gas use, now may be the perfect time to take a look at opportunities to change the way we commute. For many of us, sometimes all it takes is a bit of creativity, motivation, and support to turn small opportunities into long-lasting and positive changes within our lives.
When thinking about modifying our commute, an ‘all or nothing’ approach is not always the best strategy. By taking the time to reflect on our routine, we can sometimes identify small (or large!) windows of opportunity that can allow us to decrease our driving.
– Emily Lomax, Sustainability Consultant, EES
Making Sustainable Changes
In any efforts to reduce driving, a good place to start is to think about where you can swap in a sustainable transportation option, to complement a routine that may still include driving.
With commuting changes that you make, understanding your motivation will help to make sure that the changes are long-lasting and sustainable. Whether it be for physical or mental health, environmental health, public health, or for community connection, figuring out the ‘why’ behind any decisions to drive less will help to stick with it, especially on days when it may feel more challenging.
And of course, it’s essential that you have the support and the resources that you need! Whether it be talking to coworkers about their commutes, speaking with your household, or turning to an online community, sharing and learning from each other’s experiences can be a critical part of making and keeping up with these commuting changes.
Ways to Commute with Less Gas
Option 1: Don’t commute at all (i.e…work from home!)
Unless you are required to come to a site to work, or can travel without using gasoline, consider staying home if that option has already been arranged with your manager.
Option 2: Drive less.
Reducing the amount that you drive can take on many different forms. Determining a strategy that works for you and your household is essential to making sure that you can stick to any shifts long-term. If you are somebody that finds goal setting a useful way to start new routines, trying setting one to get you started:
Examples of small goals to reduce fuel consumption:
- Choose one day of the week to go ‘car-free’
- Give yourself a mileage ‘budget’ (to bring awareness to the number of kilometers you are driving each week, and help with overall reduction)
- Think about other personal goals you may have that could be accomplished by driving less
Option 3: Share your fuel.
Depending on where you live and work, physical ability, and other responsibilities outside of work, driving may sometimes be the only commuting option available to you. If this is case, an easy way to decrease your fuel consumption by 50% (or more!) is to share your vehicle, or ride with others. (Check out the Sustainable Transportation Resources to learn more about carpooling)
Looking for resources to make these changes easier? Check out the sustainable transportation resource below: