One of the bona fide signs of spring in the Washington DC area is the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Commemorating this lovely gift from Japan, there are art shows, concerts, tea and sake tastings, bike tours, cruises, food tours and photo safaris – and along with that, there’s traffic! Lots and lots of traffic! For proactive green travelers heading to the festival, here’s how you can lower your impact.
- Use the Washington DC Multi-Use Trail System: The Washington DC metro area is blessed with an extensive set of walking and biking trails that run from the District to Virginia and Maryland. There is no associated carbon footprint to either mode of transport other than the manufacturing of the bike (530 lbs. of carbon emissions) or the shoe so you’ll be decreasing air pollution while increasing calorie burn.
- Use the Metro: With access from Reagan National Airport to the suburbs of Virginia and Maryland, the Metro offers an inexpensive alternative to parking fees and saves 5.2 million metric tons of carbon emissions daily.
- Rent a Hybrid Vehicle: This step can be an easy way to save an estimated 3 tons of carbon emissions (not to mention gas money) over the lifetime of the vehicle.
- Attend Sustainable DC: There is a District-wide initiative to make Washington DC the greenest, healthiest, and most livable city in the United States. This environmental film event, which will be held on March 21 and introduced by Mayor Gray, will present and discuss the impact of BikeShare and green roof programs in the District. Come learn about the city’s sustainability plan and share your thoughts.
Better yet, try adopting some of these aforementioned ideas and change your commuting style at home. You could also share your ideas for spreading sustainability in your own community by incorporting car-sharing and public transportation plans into your next community festival. According to the infographic below, little changes add up to big differences for lowering your carbon footprint.