According to Solar Journey USA, 10 percent of automotive trips are for distances of less than one mile and more than 20 percent are for trips less than two miles. If you were to walk or bike for some of these trips, you'd use your car less, save money, protect the environment and get some valuable exercise.
Here are some steps that can help you walk more and drive less:
Make a list of the places you'll walk rather than drive
You may need to keep track of where you drive for a while for this to work, but note not only those places where driving requires a trip of less than a mile or two, but also determine where you can walk shorter distances than you can drive. Many subdivisions now feature biking and walking paths where you can't legally drive, allowing you to shortcut a driving trip. For instance, the distance to drive to the grocery store from my home is about one mile, but using the walking path in my neighborhood cuts the trip almost in half.
Measure the distance you'd drive
to each of the places you decide to walk or ride.
Measure the distance you'd walk or bike
to get to each of these places.
Keep track of the miles you avoid driving
If walking and biking allow you to get rid of a car, you'll save more than 50 cents per mile by eliminating all its costs; if you keep the car, you're still likely to save about 25 cents per mile (unless you have a plugin electric vehicle).
Keep track of the miles you walk or ride
Make walking and biking to complete your errands a key part of your exercise program
Instead of walking 30 minutes on a treadmill or riding an hour on your spin cycle, walk or ride an errand instead.
If nothing else, the money you save on gas by biking or walking can go to something much more fun, like a donut or ice cream while you're out and about. If you're disciplined, the money can be saved for something much more meaningful and the calories burned can translate into a skinnier, healthier you.
By systematically organizing your exercise plan to be productive you can save time and money and lose weight, too - all while you do something to help the environment!