Everyday I read something new about how more and more Americans are putting the car in the garage and walking or biking to work. It really is a win/win situation: less pollution in the air, less money on gas, less fat on you! Now that summer has finally arrived in Chicago, I think I am ready to try some ‘green commuting.’ I have a bike, but honestly, I do not think my cycling skills are where they need to be to safely ride the 3.5 miles to work on a busy street. For starters, I’ll be walking.
After planning my route (I used Google Maps street view to check for sidewalks), I did my first walking commute yesterday. While I really enjoyed it, I have a few tips for any new green commuters out there!
- Bring clean work clothes to work the day before! — Until I’m up to walking everyday, I’ll be driving a few days a week. Carrying my work shoes and clothes with me on the walk was not comfortable at all.
- It will be hotter than you think! — Do not wear your work clothes! You will sweat, even if it is under 70 degrees.
- Wear sun protection! — My arms and cheeks are very pink after my walk. I figured it was early enough to beat the harsher rays, but next time I’ll be wearing sunscreen and sun glasses.
- Try to only carry your keys, wallet, phone, and a drink! — Carrying more = more sweat. My commute is 3.5 miles, and near the end I was wishing I had brought my water bottle.
- If you listen to music while you walk, keep the volume low! — You need to be able to hear emergency vehicles and traffic to stay safe.
- Using the sidewalk does not make you invincible! — Watch out for cars turning into driveways and side streets.
Do you have any other good advice for a new walking commuter? I’m really looking forward to making this a part of my daily routine. Anything that keeps me off the treadmill is a bonus in my book. Happy walking!