Alaskans produced 34 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2017. Just because Alaska has a small population does not mean we have a small impact; 34 million metric tons of CO2 is roughly equivalent to the number of cars in Los Angeles driving for one year.
One way you can reduce your impact is by biking to work or school instead of driving. If your commute is 20 miles round trip and you bike instead of drive, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 4,800 pounds annually. May is National Bike Month, but if you don’t own a bike or the roads are too dangerous, another safe way to reduce your impact is walking. If your commute is less than 3 miles, walking is a great way to stay in shape and help save the environment.
Biking and walking aren’t just recreational activities, they help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion, and our demand for oil. If you don’t know of any accessible trails, trailink.com is a great tool to find public bike trails near you. “By 2050, global emissions of greenhouse gases from transportation could grow to about 12 billion tons of CO2e annually — unless there are aggressive and sustained changes in how humans get around,” said Bruce Lierberan of Yale Climate Connections.
Next time you decide to drive, please consider the serious impacts and choose a more sustainable way to get around that includes biking, walking, or using public transportation.
— Emma Haas
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