Sunday, March 16, 2008

Active Transportation

10 Simple Ways to Burn Calories, Not Carbon!™:Regardless of how much each of us currently walks or bikes, we can all take steps to increase our level of "active transportation" in daily travel. Help reduce your individual transportation footprint:

  1. Encourage a friend, neighbor or family member to take the pledge by sending them a cool eCard, and help each other make short trips by walking or biking together.
  2. Use an online distance-measurement tool to calculate the distance from your house to nearby destinations. In 20 minutes, one can typically walk one mile or bike at least three miles. Nearly half the trips in America are three miles or less.
  3. If you already walk or bike occasionally, consider biking to a destination to which you would have previously driven. Ask a friend, co-worker or family member who already walks or bikes to work or school to help you get started or share their commute.
  4. Commit to being car-free on a specific day each week—and stick to it! Avoiding a weekly 20-mile car trip will keep about 1,000 pounds of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere annually.
  5. Visit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's online trail-finder,, to find a trail near you. In many communities, trails link destinations, enabling activities such as errands, commutes or outings to be completed while enjoying a walk or bike ride on a trail.
  6. Walking and biking to mass transit may greatly increase the distance you can travel without an automobile. Most large cities in the United States provide online trip-planners for their public transit systems. By entering basic trip information, these online planners often provide specific route information, including cost. Google Transit , for instance, allows residents of select cities to search for transit trips.
  7. If you don't have a working bicycle, visit your local bike shop and explain your goal of biking as transportation. Shop staff can advise you about getting your old bike in working order or what it would take to get a new or used bike that meets your needs and fits your budget. They are interested in seeing more cyclists in the community and are happy to help you get started, easily and safely.
  8. Get tips on how to travel without a car by reading Chris Balish's How to Live Well Without Owning a Car or Katie Alvord's Divorce Your Car!
  9. If you have children, instead of shuttling them in a car, walk or ride with them to school (learn about Safe Routes to School) or to a nearby friend's house to play. You'll get to spend more time with your children and get in some exercise. Plus, you're creating a trend for being active that can last them a long, healthy lifetime.
  10. Become an advocate! Now that you've taken the Burn Calories, Not Carbon!™ pledge you can make your voice heard on important trail, walking and biking issues. You can also promote our 2010 Campaign for Active Transportation—which aims to double the federal investment in trails, walking and biking—to your political leaders.

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