As an ever-evolving, eco-conscious individual, I always take time to reflect on how my actions impact the environment. I’ve adopted eco-friendly behaviors, such as switching to a more sustainable diet, recycling and reusing items, using a reusable water bottle and food containers, and picking up trash that I see lying around. However, in terms of urban sustainability, refusing to drive an automobile is the by far greatest way I’ve reduced my impact.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector pose a great threat to urban sustainability. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation contributed to 27% of GHG emissions in the US. By opting to use public transportation, I reduce my carbon emissions by about 4,800 pounds per year (Transit Chicago). In addition, I choose to walk when feasible and also just purchased a bicycle. These forms of commuting require no fuel and bicycles not only reduce emissions, but also lower traffic congestion and the demand for petroleum.
I can still make greater efforts to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some changes that I’m in the process of making include purchasing a water filter so that I no longer have to buy bottled water for my home, buying reusable produce bags for grocery shopping, and finding a way to safely compost indoors.