This one’s a simple one: but as soon as you start thinking about getting around under your own steam, rather than just taking the car or public transport, you’re opening up a world of possibilities.
As soon as you start walking, running or cycling, your carbon footprint shrinks immediately. But that’s only one side of the equation: you see, hear and sense things when you’re on a bike, for example, that you wouldn’t when you’re in a car or on a cramped rush-hour train. Again, you’re just more connected to nature, to being outdoors.
Even if you live in a city, the ability to just hop on a bike or put your shoes on and head out the door I think is so good for your mental health. You won’t get stuck in traffic, you don’t have to rush to catch a train by a certain time, you can actually experience this big dose of life, nature and fresh air before you even get to work, or wherever you’re going.
Psychologists say that things like depression and anxiety often arise when people feel like they’re losing control – and I think our busy modern lives take a lot of that control away from us. We always need to be somewhere by a certain time to do a certain thing. But on a bike, for example, you can assert a little more control over your day.
You can pedal faster if you want to get there sooner, or you can just take your time and let the world wash over you. You’re not stuck in traffic or having your morning ruined by delays or cancellations. I’m telling you, riding a bike is disproportionately empowering!