Don’t Strive to Drive

Walking and biking are environmentally-friendly, healthy alternatives to driving

By Ella Chan

While huge corporations largely make carbon emissions, every person has an equal responsibility to the environment, and teenagers are no exception. To combat the inevitable effects of climate change, there are numerous shifts that teens can make in their day-to-day routines that will have a lasting impact on the environment, with transportation being one of the most prominent, according to The Brookings Institution. Instead of driving to school on a daily basis, walking or biking is a much easier and healthier alternative to reducing pollution.

In today’s busy world, people frequently use their cars to get to places, accumulating being one of the most prominent indents in the carbon footprint, according to IOPScience. Vehicle emissions and pollutants can harm anyone’s health detrimentally and also contain greenhouse gasses that ruin the environment. Burning gasoline and diesel fuels create byproducts including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and many other harmful gasses, according to The Department of Ecology. This all contributes to the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere that can inevitably lead to climate change. The more people that turn to their cars every day as transportation, the worse the atmosphere gets, thus resulting in an unhealthy and unsafe environment for everyone living in it.

Mr. Grossman bikes alongside the students. (Photo by Annabelle Yip)

Aside from their positive environmental impacts, walking and biking are also beneficial for the body. Children who walk and bike to school have higher physical activity levels throughout the day, increasing activity levels among children, according to the National Library of Medicine.  Doing this every day can help create a healthy routine and the extra exercise results in better sleep.  

Not only do walking and biking prove to have several physical benefits, but it also allows for improved mental health. Walking for 20 minutes can help reduce levels of depression and anxiety, as it gives people a moment of peace and time to think, according to  It also helps boost your mood by increasing the blood flow to your brain and circulation throughout the body. Having a balance of independent time with a busy lifestyle is healthy for any person’s well-being.

Before or after school, people can take a walk or bike around the neighborhood. It’s also a great alternative to taking a break after studying. Everyone has an obligation to protect the environment, and every small change helps. Homestead also is taking part in this step to help the earth by having a teacher and student bike week after school, encouraging everyone to bike instead of drive. Walking and biking are beneficial for the environment and healthy for the human body and mind.