You already know that walking is good for you in a whole host of ways, from your physical well-being to your mental health and beyond. But have you ever considered the ways that walking is good for the environment? In honor of Earth Day, here are the ways our Earth says "thank you" when you choose to walk instead of drive.
Walking improves your local air quality. When you choose to drive, your vehicle generates emissions in the air that pose a hazard to human, plant and animal life. And did you know that emissions from cars are greatest when an engine is cold? The first few minutes before your car warms up produce the highest emissions. So ditch the car for short distances and take a walk instead.
Walking reduces greenhouse gases, the harmful pollutants that trap warm air inside of the Earth's atmosphere and increase global warming. The highest contributor to greenhouse gasses is transportation. In fact, cars, trucks, buses, and other fuel-powered vehicles are responsible for 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. But walking? That's an alternative that will reduce your carbon footprint.
Walking doesn't contribute to environmental noise pollution the way other vehicles and machines do. And that noise isn't just annoying. In addition to the range of health problems it causes for humans, research also shows that birds, other animals and even plants suffer from noise traffic.
So this week, leave the car in the garage and say “thank you” to our Earth with a walk.