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Sustainable Living: Transportation

How you get around and off campus can directly impact your finances, health, and the planet. Here are some ideas on how to do so while keeping some change in your pockets.

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  • Walk or bike when you can. (Actually, investing in a good bike is a good idea.) I understand that those of you going to a big school where it takes 30-40 minutes to walk across campus aren’t necessarily going to embrace this idea, but think about how much better shape you’ll be in as a result! You will also not have to pay for gas money or a bus ticket. You can also walk and bike places off campus if you live in a confined-enough area (think going to get a few groceries, going to the movies or a park, etc).
  • Take the bus if it’s not feasible for you to walk or bike. Find out if it costs to ride campus or city buses for students, or if you can get a discounted fare (you probably will be able to!). See if you can get a pass for the whole year or semester, because it’ll likely be cheaper than paying as you ride (if you are going to ride the bus a lot). Many buses will also take you places off campus. On another note, more and more buses are using either gas/biofuel mixes or going completely to biofuels, so you are also doing the planet a favor (versus driving).
  • Carpool if you really have to have a car. Find some other friends who also need to go where you are going and have everyone chip in a few cents for gas. It will cost less for everyone involved and be much better for the environment.

There are also several things you can do to improve the accessibility on your campus, like finding out where bike paths are (and if there aren’t any, maybe you could start up a project with the city to get some! that would certainly look good on a resume!), or finding out about bus schedules and where the buses go, along with fares and discounts.

Do you have any other ideas for ways to get around campus and town without spending too much (or any) money?”

About this Contributor: Maria Schwartzman is a senior computer science major with a Spanish minor at a small liberal arts school in Indiana. She’ll be writing a lot about how to save money by living a sustainable lifestyle! Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

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Mike is the owner and main contributor for Mike enjoys learning about personal finances and works hard to help college students make and save money in college.

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