Autumn is here. The trees are shifting in beautiful colors of yellow and red, leaves are filling the streets and the air has that wonderful little chill to it. There sure is a lot to like about this season. One thing NOT to like is the constant rain and winds though, am I right?
Autumn is kind of an odd season when it comes to preparing for the commute. Mornings are cold, but it is quite warm during the day. Rain comes without warning at the most random intervals, and mud get everywhere. Not the easiest time to commute, right? Well, no. Not if you skip preparations.
As always, proper preparation is the key to make the commute easier. It is all about small things, like paying attention to the weather reports, choosing which sort of transportation suits the day best etc. For example, if there is a total downpour outside then by all means drive. But make sure you do so in an eco-driving fashion. Maybe you can even pick up some colleagues on the way. If it is a clear but somewhat cold morning, then wear a sweater, but make sure you can remove it when you get to work. This isn’t exactly rocket science, right. A chilly morning sure makes you awake and ready for when the day starts, which is actually quite a nice feeling.
I feel a list coming. Yep, thats it.
- Bring a small umbrella in your bag. You don’t need those huge things so many are using, a small one is perfectly functional for surprise bad weather. You can keep one in the bottom of your bag, or even in your pocket if it is a very light type of umbrella.
- Choose a good waterproof backpack. Especially if you are lugging a computer around like so many office workers do today. That can be a lifesaver if you get caught in some nasty weather.
- Use sturdier shoes then the nice one you are working in. Yea, this one is for those who have to look presentable at work. But hey, I see people in low shoes without padding on the bus all year around, including frosty mornings and the whole winter season. Why freeze and go wet all day when changing to “work shoes” when you get there is so easy?
- Be sure you know the bus/train/subways timetable. Getting stuck waiting is bad in summer, but when it is raining and/ or cold, you don’t want that.
- When biking, be sure you wear warm but breathing clothes. Your coworkers will thank you:)
- Public transportation, especially rail bound that goes above ground, often run late when leaves and ice clog up the rails. This is something we have had a problem with several times in Gothenburg, and I am sure it isn’t a totally isolated problem. Be sure to have enough time so you don’t get late.
- And the last point on the list; don’t get discouraged from choosing greener commute options just because the summer with its lovely weather and warm mornings are over. It is more then possible to make the commute sustainable as well as comfortable regardless of season, it is just a matter of preparations.
When it comes down to it, sustainable everyday transportation should be something natural. That car is just too convenient and comfortable. It is easy to simply choose the easiest option when the weather is bad and the cold is creeping in, but trust me on this one, it is perfectly doable. It is even quite comfortable if you prepare according to the weather and season. With climate change and all kinds of environmental problems getting more and more apparent it is important that we change the way we live. Taking the bus, or getting a rain kit and bike is quite a small effort which can bring about other changes. And every small step counts. Try it out. After a couple of weeks you will probably feel like you have done it forever. And you have done the planet a big favor.