It's that time of year again. The first day of school. If it hasn't happened to you yet, it will soon! Are you a little scared? Or really excited? I used to love the walk to school with my friends the first day back. We would leave really early to leave lots of time to discuss all the critical things: who we hoped was in our class, who we dreaded being in our class, and where exactly we would meet on the playground at recess to update eachother on the these topics. It was our way of easing into the long year ahead of us.
There are about 242,000,000 cars driving around the United States. Cars and trucks run on fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In fact, cars are responsible for 30% of greenhouses gas emissions. Although you may not be old enough to drive, you are old enough to make choices about how you get around. Instead of having mom or dad drive you to school or to practice, walk or ride your bike. Start a club of kids from your neighborhood to walk or bike to school with you. Encourage each other to join in the group everyday. Walking or riding to school is a great chance to hang out with your friends and is much more fun than sitting in a car! So whiz past all the traffic and arrive at school or practice energized and ready to go. For every mile you walk or bike, you will save 1 pound of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere.
To help you with this activity:
–Set a goal with your friends for a certain number of days of walking or biking instead of riding in a car. When you reach your goal, celebrate! Have a party or treat yourselves to your favorite treat.
–Turn this into a classroom activity. Have teachers keep track of car–free days, and compete with other classrooms in your school.
–If you live too far from school to walk or ride a bike, ask your parents or bus driver to drop you off a 1/2 mile from school or home and walk the rest of the way.
–Extra Bonus: Walking and bike riding are great for your health and will help you feel great too!
-Click here for safty tips for riding your bike.
-Bicyclists get 2,500 miles per gallon (this takes into consideration the extra kilocalories of food you will eat to give you the energy to pedal that bike.)
-Sidewalks and bike paths require a fraction of land compared to roads.
-According to the Department of Transportation, cars in the US are driven an average of 10,000 miles annually—which means that Americans drive more than a trillion miles every year!