This article originally appeared on the Idaho Conservation League Blog on February 27, 2019
Be proud of your efforts to trade the gas pump for pumping the pedals of your bike. Every choice you make sends a signal, so make the decision to support cleaner and more energy-efficient options!
The Big Picture, Broken Down
It’s no secret that one of ICL’s major goals for fighting climate change is to clean the grid and electrify everything. You’ve heard us say this before, and you’re going to hear us say it a lot more. This is the big picture we’re focused on.
At the same time, we recognize that these big picture goals are achieved one step at time. While some folks have the means to buy a brand new electric vehicle, install solar panels on their home and never consume fossil fuels again, others aren’t quite there yet. This phrase, “clean the grid and electrify everything” needs to work for everyone. And that’s the goal of this post — to meet folks where they are and help get everyone on the path toward a cleaner grid that will fuel our transportation needs.
What Can You Change about Your Transportation Choices?
Take a second to check in on where you are in terms of transportation. What kind of car are you currently driving, and are you thinking about purchasing a new vehicle soon? Where does fuel-efficiency rank in terms of importance for you? If you’re not ready to purchase an EV, are you considering a highly fuel-efficient vehicle instead (spoiler alert: you should be!)?
Now take a look at your transportation needs (think about your commute to work or where you travel for fun) and consider how you’re fulfilling those needs — driving alone, taking public transit, walking or cycling. While you may have a perfectly good vehicle you plan to keep for years to come, you can still challenge yourself to change at least one thing about your transportation choices. Feel free to get creative, but here’s some examples of what you could think about:
- Could you take the public transit to commute to work?
- Which car trips could you replace with walking or cycling?
- Do your family, friends or neighbors work near where you work — why not carpool?
Turning any or all of these suggestions into habits can significantly reduce your climate footprint. Plus, there are a host of fringe benefits unrelated to climate change. The money you save on commuting could go to your next adventure. Walking and biking more can help support a healthy lifestyle. You could find out that your neighborhood carpool buddy shares some of your hobbies or interest.
Usage and Efficiency Matter
Every choice you make sends a signal. The money you spend on efficient choices — or the money you save by choosing cheaper or free options like walking or riding a bike — is a vote in support of cleaner, more efficient options. ICL works with a number of utility companies and private businesses and trust us, they take notice when people’s purchasing decisions change. These entities want your vote (read “money”) and they will adapt based on your feedback. Be proud of your efforts to trade the gas pump for pumping the pedals of your bike. You’re doing more than you’ll ever know by making such a simple and enjoyable switch.