Commuter probs

Commuter probsCommuter probs

Over winter break I was rear-ended and my car was totaled, not having a car anymore has reduced my carbon footprint by a lot. As a commuter student at UIC I travel via Metra train daily from Aurora. Before the accident, I would often drive to campus, which according to William Solecki, “causes intense air pollution and its associated hazards to the health of urban residents”. No longer having a motor vehicle makes me feel like I’m protecting the planet in a strange sense because of the recent report that diesel cars from four major car manufacturers are emitting significantly more pollution on the road than in their regulatory tests. Cars give off higher pollution emissions than previously thought which is a big scandal.

As a commuter it’s very easy to grab a water bottle before leaving the house in the morning, which is a nasty habit that harms the planet. I started realizing that my consumption of water bottles was getting to be ridiculous and since according to the Washington Post, “by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the worlds oceans,” I knew it was time to change my habits. I have since invested on a reusable water bottle that will help me live a more sustainable life and to save the planet.



Work Cited:


Image, my own.


4 thoughts on “Commuter probs

  1. I liked your post because your responding to a negative with a positive. And you seem to really like the Metra aspect of your commute. When I was single I commuted every day and found it quite relaxing and loved reading on the train. There were the occasional interesting rides, thanks to the many characters you find on a train, but at times I was even able to sleep at times. I kind of miss it actually. There’s various factors in my life now that make it almost impossible to do without transportation (moved farther in the suburbs, I have elderly mobility challenged parents and a toddler at home and my work schedule) but I do try to reduce my trips to do all at once as opposed to going on many trips in a week.


  2. I can totally relate to you as I no longer have my car with me. Coming from out of state I was forced to leave my car back home, now leaving me with public transportation as my way to get around. I feel the same way as you do; without me even knowing I am protecting the environment; specially when driving around a v8, you bet I was harming the planet.


  3. I never realized how much of a carbon footprint I am leaving behind until I started this course. I figured, driving was the fastest and best way to get to work. In reality, taking public transportation is probably easier and can be faster due to traffic. I think that so many people, including myself, are used to the convenience of certain things, such as driving to work/school, that we rather create pollution then to step out of our routines. However, after learning about pollution and the importance of sustainability, I have been trying to make it a point to utilize public transportation and be more conscious about my wasteful decisions.


  4. I am also guilty of using a car even when in reality I don’t need it due to the U-pass being provided to me. I should reconsider using my vehicle in order to be more sustainable. Furthermore, I would probably even be willing to go a step further by beginning to ride my bike. Even trains use up tons of energy even if they’re not running on gas. There are schools beginning to use bike programs in order to implement a more sustainable campus life (Indiana University/Purdue University). There are many things we can all do to be more sustainable, we just need to be more committed in my opinion.


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