why walking is good for the environment

Why walking every day is good for the environment

August 28, 2018Ellen
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Driving is something that I do but I try and limit it.  I drive on Saturdays to my mum’s house and often on Wednesday’s to take my son to any club cycling races.  We have one household car and three bicycles and everyone has feet – which really were made for walking!

Walking every day is great for you but walking every day is good for the environment too.  Walking, instead of driving, reduces pollution in the environment.  It reduces greenhouse gases that harm the environment.  Walking also means that you are not adding to the traffic which causes noise pollution.

how walking can help the environment

The traffic jam as I travel home on the train.  I can just stare out the window and thank goodness I’m not stuck in that traffic!

One of the reasons I limit my driving is the fact that I hate it.  There is a great advert that I often see round the place and it’s for using the local trains.  It says “You aren’t stuck in traffic.  You are the traffic.”  That is so true.  Why would I want to be stuck in traffic when I can walk, get fresh air, lose weight and be healthy

Another reason I walk and use public transport as much as possible also has to do with the environment.  Whether you believe in climate change or not, that’s not the issue.  After new roads are built to reduce traffic jams, it’s not long before that road is gridlocked.  Did you know that the average car emits around 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year.  This is a staggering amount of crap that will end up in the atmosphere causing all sorts of damage to our environment.  Walking is a great way to reduce this.  Another issue with cars is that they can lead to cities that are filled with smog.  the yellow brown haze that you sometimes get in the air from the mixture of vapours and gases coming from cars.  There are sometimes pictures of major cities on the news where people have to go about with masks on to stop the smog from entering their lungs.

Did you also know that if you use public transport one bus with passengers on it can basically take off 50 cars?  How cool is that?  For my work day I use walking, train, bus and walking.  For me I can sit on public transport and read or I can sit looking out the window and day dreaming.  You can’t do that in the car.

I’ve come up with 10 reasons why walking is better than using the car. I’d love to know what you think of them.

  • Walking saves you money.  It’s free to walk but also it can save you lots of money buying gas/petrol.  With our amount of driving at the moment we only fill the tank about once a month now.  In fact we use it so little we traveled less than 3,000 miles last year.
  • Walking means you aren’t adding to the air pollution.  I’m not someone who necessarily thinks of what I need to do to save the planet but I’m pleased to say that my walking and using the car less is good for the environment.
  • Walking also saves you money  over driving as you won’t be paying for parking.  Have you ever paid for parking in a city?  Wow, how expensive.  I love hoping on the train and heading in to town and getting my step count up by walking round the shops.
  • I love a bargain so you can imagine that I walk a lot because it is free.  We don’t often get something for nothing these days but walking is free, it saves you money and you get all the wonderful health benefits thrown in for free too!
  • Walking is great exercise.  I hate going to the gym so walking is the ideal free exercise for me.  Getting out in the fresh air is so helpful especially if you have had a hard day at work.
  • Fresh air is great.  Yes fresh air is wonderful for mind, body and soul.  Fresh air puts things in perspective and clears your head.
  • Walking to the train station after work I have a competition with myself.  I see how far I can get before the bus that I would have gotten reaches me.  It’s fun but it also had me realise that I can often be quicker walking than waiting for a bus or if I had been using my car.  I often get to my destination while others are stuck in traffic.
  • Walking instead of driving gives you kudos.  I can’t get over the amount of people who admire me for walking the 40 minutes to the train station.  I admit some thing I’m mad when it’s raining outside but others praise me for my determination and dedication to walking.
  • Walking is way much more fun than driving.  I often laugh out loud when I reach the train station and I’ve forgotten my brolly and I’m so drenched.  What else is there to do?  If that’s not your idea of fun then walking does release happy hormones so walking does cheer you up!
It rains a lot here, the view from my walk to work – I use a cage umbrella so this is my view – raining!
Have I convinced you yet of the benefits of walking for yourself and the environment?  If yes then I’ve done a good job, if not then let’s chat about ways to make walking even more exciting for you.
  • Vary your walking route.  I often try different routes to get to the same location.  It’s quite fun finding new routes and seeing what else there is along the way.
  • Walk while listening to music  Depending on the song, I can often walk faster with a much more uptempo beat.  It’s great if you are wanting to do a high intensity interval walk to get your cardio fitness up.
  • My walk is just for me.  It helps me unwind and deal with any stress the day has thrown at me.  Walking is a great way to get time to yourself.  It’s also a way of helping the environment too.
  • Walking gives you time to think.  You will be amazed at how much you can get resolved during your daily walk.  I find it so relaxing and it sets me up for a great day at work having ironed out any issues.
  • Say hello.  You will come in to contact with some friendly people on your walking journey.  I love my Sunday walks and saying hello to others who are out walking too.  It’s good for the soul.
  • Set yourself goals.  Of course we all need to drive at times but set yourself goals for when you will walk and when you will drive.  I often walk to the local shop and leave the car at home even though it would be so easy to hop in the car.
  • Soak in the beauty.  You don’t often get to see things when you are driving.  Walking on the other hand allows you to experience what is going on.  Be that nature or indeed what building is going on around you.


How does walking help the environment?

There are links between air pollution and what it does to our health.  Of course the more cars on the road the worse the air pollution will be.  This is even more so when it’s cold.  Have you ever walked past cars on a cold morning and found it hard to get a breath because of the fumes coming out of the engine?  It really is awful.  This also means that the car is using up even more gas/petrol on a cold day and costing you more.

So one of the best things you can do is leave the car at home and walk.

Noise levels is another issue that you get with too many cars.  My walk home is along a busy main road and honestly I really do welcome a break from the constant car noise when I get on the train.  I don’t know about you but my hearing is quite sensitive so it’s great when school holidays come around and there are fewer cars on the road.

These are just a few of the ways walking every day is good for you and good for the environment.  I hope you find them useful.


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Why walking is good for the environment

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Comments (2)

  • Rick Laughlin, FAPLD

    December 27, 2018 at 4:57 am

    Walking is always healthy but most americans choose not to walk…why? it is because they find driving their polluting car more efficient…but since most Americans do like wise you wind up with even more pollution, grid locked roads and short tempered drivers…why wouldn’t you elect to walk and make our environment a better place???

    1. Ellen

      January 9, 2019 at 3:55 pm

      I guess it is convenient so I can understand that but even if people opted to walk instead of drive one day a week that would make a huge difference!

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