The Most Eco-Friendly Ways for Students to Get Around

by Chad Agrawal

commuteTravel on and around campus can not only suck up your time and money, but it can also do damage to the environment in the process. And since few community colleges offer living arrangements (i.e. dorms) for students like their 4-year counterparts, you'll be left with the unhappy task of commuting in order to attend classes. Whether the distance is short or long, this can impact both you and the environment. While it may only cause short-term damage to your bank account, the effects to the planet are likely to be longer lasting. So if you're looking for a few modes of eco-friendly mobility during your stint in community college, here are just a few options to consider.

Possibly the most environmentally sound choice is to scrap the idea of physical travel altogether in favor of telecommuting when possible. Many campuses these days offer online courses that allow students to study and participate from home, and this option has been steadily gaining popularity with community colleges striving to offer more options to working students. If you can manage a semester where you only take online classes, this could help to significantly reduce your onus to travel in pursuit of an education. Plus, you don't have to put on pants to go to class (as in you can stay in your pajamas...ahem).

However, it is unlikely that you will be able to get all of the credits you need for transfer, certification, or an AA via this route. So if you simply must attend classes in person, you might want to go for the next best option: your own mode of locomotion. This means using your legs to power your movement, as in walking, biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, and the like. It's a great choice for those that live within a few miles since it not only cuts costs and carbon emissions, but also helps you to squeeze in some much-needed exercise.

Of course, you might have no real choice but to use some form of motorized transportation if you don't live near campus. In this case you'll want to start by looking into mass transit options. Utilizing trains or buses is less expensive and harmful than driving a personal vehicle, and it can be an especially good deal if your local DOT offers discount passes for students or your community college has worked out some kind of arrangement for the same. Or if this doesn't work with your living arrangements or your schedule you can look into carpooling with one or more students. You might use a rideshare service or simply ask around in your classes to see who is interested. This could require some complex negotiations to make it work, but it's well worth the effort for the money you'll save and the carbon emissions you'll cut in the process.

Finally, if you've exhausted all your options and you find yourself driving solo every day, think about ways to make your own automobile more eco-friendly. If you can't afford to purchase a hybrid, electric, or alternative fuel vehicle, perhaps you can try a kit that converts your system to biofuel. You can save money on your car in all kinds of ways, such as searching CarInQuotes for the lowest coverage, but when it comes to turning over a new leaf where the environment is concerned you'll have to dig a little deeper. Luckily, there are all kinds of ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and for the community college student looking to greenify, transportation is an excellent place to start.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

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