Held the first Friday of April since 2004, National Walk to Work Day was started by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Podiatric Medical Association. This special day encourages people to get out of their cars and pound the pavement on their way to and from the office.
Ninety-one percent of Americans get to work by car or some sort of public transportation. That equates to millions of pounds in polluted air, hazardous waste and dangerous carbon emissions – all of which contribute to global warming each and every day.
In fact, a small car that uses about 68 gallons of gas driving 10 miles a day, five days a week for a year emits 0.7 tons of carbon dioxide. A midsize car using 124 gallons of fuel driving the same amount produces 1.3 tons of annual carbon emissions, and your gas guzzling SUV that guzzles 170 gallons of gas will emit almost 2 tons of CO2 in a year – and that’s just on the way to and from work!
So on April 4 (or more often if you can swing it!), combat these damaging environmental effects by aiming for a 15-minute walk on your way to and from work. Do you take the bus or subway? Get off a stop or two earlier or walk a stop further before boarding. Or if you drive, see if there is a place where you can park 15 minutes from your office to cut down your drive time and get your feet on the street.
If it’s too difficult or dangerous to walk your regular commute, try going for stroll during your lunch break rather than driving to your favorite sandwich spot.
Beyond the environmental benefits, walking is associated with diabetes prevention, lower cholesterol and mood improvement– added bonuses to the good you’ll already be doing for the planet.