The summer is the ideal season to commute greener. At least in my opinion. The weather is often nice, the nature is green and lovely to walk through and the mornings are warm enough so you don’t freeze, but not hot enough to be sweaty. But the middle of the day, and afternoon is a totally different story. And morning too unless you use zero emission transportation or drives with a good air-conditioning. Buses have a tendency to get really warm even in the chilly morning during summer, and can get unbearable around afternoon. Even biking or walking gets uncomfortable in 26 degree C.
The question is, how do we make a green summer commute easier and more enjoyable? Well, here are some tips:
- For the afternoon commute; freeze some water/sport drink/whatever you fancy and let the plastic bottle (reused of course) thaw during the day. You will have a nice cold drink whenever you feel like it, or just something really cool to put on your neck during the day.
- ALWAYS have something to drink with you. It helps replacing water lost during the day.
- Yogurt drinks. A friend of mine from Pakistan once told me of how they use cold yogurt drinks to stave of the heat during harvest season. I have tried it, and it works surprisingly well for quite a long time.
- As with a general bike commute, bring work clothes in a bag and change at work. You don’t even need a proper dressing room, a toilet stall works fine for this, and you can wipe of excess sweat when you are at it.
- Bring spare clothes; it will help a lot. Why worry about sweat-rings in the armpits when one can simply change shirt when it gets to much?
- Try to choose bicycling or walking over public transportation, even if it means an hour on the road. It is worth it, especially during the afternoon. If that isn’t possible, carpool.
- Cut down on coffee and tea. Both are speeding up urine production and thereby making you dehydrated faster. Not good in the warm season (but not something critical)
- Try to telecommute during the worst days. Then you won’t have to worry about being all sweaty in front of your coworkers.
- When all else fail, or when you just feel like it; ICE CREAM! Hey, it IS hot in the summer, right. An ice cream may very well be what you need to stave of the heat. And it taste good.
Commuting in a greener manner is possible during all seasons, and they all present different challenges. Be sure to be prepared for them. Most of those preparations are common sense anyways, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. And with increasing CO2 levels, slimmer chances to stop global warming at a 2 C temperature increase and less time to do anything against it, we must change our habits. Our transportation habits are some of the easier things to change, so let’s think one step further, be prepared for the summer and let’s make sure our greener commute is as relaxing and smooth as possible even during the summer heath waves!