It’s back to school and as our world faces the growing challenges of climate change and pollution, making conscious choices in our daily lives can help reduce our environmental impact. How we commute to school is one of the ways we can make a positive impact. By choosing eco-friendly and safe transportation options, we can contribute to a healthier planet while also ensuring the safety of our children.
Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School is an Oregon Department of Transportation program to encourage and educate youth and parents in Central Oregon. The program ensures that they understand the benefits and safety, and provides suggested walking routes for the elementary schools in Central Oregon. Check out the maps for W.E. Miller Elementary and High Lakes Elementary and for a complete list of Central Oregon walking route maps, click here.
Walking and Biking
Walking and biking to school are two green and healthy commute options. These options reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase physical fitness, and promote social interaction. Here are some key benefits:
- Environmental Impact: Walking and biking produce zero emissions, making them a carbon-neutral mode of transportation.
- Physical Health: These activities promote exercise, helping students stay active and healthy.
- Community Building: Walking or biking allows students to connect with their local community, fostering a sense of belonging.
To ensure safety when walking or biking to school, it's essential to follow traffic rules, wear appropriate safety gear, and use designated pedestrian or bike lanes whenever possible.
Using public transportation, such as riding the bus, is another eco-friendly option. Buses reduce the number of cars on the road and increase fuel efficiency. Here's why it's a great option:
- Reduced Congestion: Fewer cars on the road mean less traffic congestion and shorter travel times.
- Environmental Benefits: Buses are generally more fuel-efficient and produce fewer emissions per passenger mile than personal vehicles.
Students should learn how to safely find their routes, understand schedules, and follow safety guidelines to ensure safety.
Carpooling is an excellent option for families or groups of students who live in the same area. By sharing rides, you can reduce the number of vehicles on the road, leading to several advantages:
- Environmental Impact: Carpooling reduces the carbon footprint by decreasing the number of cars on the road.
- Cost Savings: Sharing expenses like fuel and maintenance can lead to significant savings for families.
- Social Interaction: Carpooling can foster friendships and promote social interaction among students.
To ensure safety during carpooling, make sure the drivers are responsible and experienced, and adhere to seatbelt and safety regulations.
Choosing environmentally friendly and safe commute options for school is not only beneficial for the planet but also for the well-being of our children. Walking, biking, riding the bus, and carpooling all offer sustainable ways to get to school. By embracing these options and prioritizing safety, we can make a positive impact on our environment while ensuring a secure and healthy future for our students.