How to make your commute to work greener

As we continue our yearlong focus on changes we can all make to improve the environment around us and work towards a greener future, we’re taking a look at how a greener commute can also benefit you.

Considering your green commute options

When people live in large built up cities such as London, Manchester and Edinburgh it’s often more convenient, cheaper and easier to get into the centrally based office without taking the car. Even if you live in a less populated town though, there can still be some good options to make part of your journey greener.

Invest to cycle to work

In most organisations it’s now a standard benefit to provide a cycle to work scheme – where colleagues can purchase a new bike for their commute and spread the cost through salary sacrifice payments over a longer period of time. It’s always worth checking what’s on offer through this scheme, as it can provide a good option to cycle down to your local train station or tram stop. Some stations and train providers have secure bike storage areas, where you can be sure your new bike will be safe whilst you’re at work.

If your work from home days are less active, despite the best of intentions to get out for a lunchtime  walk or an early doors gym session, a more physical commute to work could help with overall health and wellbeing.

Opt for the bus, train or tram

If you’re only heading into the office for one or two days each week, and enjoying the benefits of work from home – it could be a good option to revisit your public transport options to reduce your carbon footprint. Perhaps splitting up the journey by driving part of the way and then picking up a bus, train or tram to make the final part of the journey could help cut down on the cost of fuel when driving to work. As well as providing a more relaxing and less stressful start to the day instead of sitting in congestion and roadworks during rush hour.

Now many organisations have moved to more of a hybrid working model and people aren’t necessarily in the office every weekday, most major transport providers have introduced flexible season tickets to ensure public transport is still a cost effective option.

Helping to support the clean air initiatives

London first introduced it’s congestion charge in 2004, followed by Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charges more recently in 2019. A number of other major cities and UK regions have also adopted similar charges to cut down on air pollution and vehicle emissions, with Greater Manchester being the latest to navigate how best to implement their new Clean Air Zone. High levels of pollution that Clean Air Greater Manchester has identified contributes to close to 1,200 premature deaths in the region each year.

Swapping to a greener commute can help to contribute to the UK-wide efforts to cut air pollution and vehicle emissions.

However you decide to get to work, it’s worth considering the environmental, health and wellbeing benefits that your commute could have. Which over a sustained period of time could prove extremely rewarding.

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