Many benefits come with a large college campus (at UVA, we call it grounds), such as a numerous and diverse amount of study spots or the occasional discovery of a cool new place. However, I never expected walking to be one of the benefits as well. I understand that many students despise walking to class early in the morning because it means waking up a little bit earlier and forcing to use your legs before 11 am, but I must admit, I have learned a lot by walking around grounds, and I want to share why walking isn’t so bad.
Of course, I want to point out that I am not taking long treks across miles of sidewalk, but just walking from 15-45 minutes. Let’s start out on how walking helps the environment – which is almost blatantly obvious. First and foremost, walking is a substitute for driving. That means you don’t have to waste any gas, which also means you will save a lot of money. Transportation accounts for 28% of the total energy usage in the United States and personal driving accounts for 60% of transportation alone. Cars and trucks account for over 30% of air pollutants as well. So, next time you step in your car for a 3 minute drive, consider the financial and environmental consequences. You may argue, “well a 3 minute drive can’t let out THAT much pollution, can it?” and I absolutely agree. However, that student probably uses his or her car a couple times a week and multiply that by the amount of students at UVA who own cars and ten thousands of colleges in the US alone. BAM, significant air pollution.
There are also many other underlying reasons why walking is better than driving. Because most students sit down every day for over 5 hours in class or studying and then maybe some more hours sitting down eating, watching Netflix, playing video games, etc, many students have a hard time adding exercise in their schedule. Well, instead of spending more time sitting down in a car, walking every day from class to class is considered simple exercise. Getting some sun, enjoying the fresh air, and taking a nice stroll is both physically rewarding and helps to clear the mind. In addition, fewer cars means less traffic around grounds, walking around usually ends up with bumping into someone you know and catching up, and just enjoying the beautiful campus (grounds) are good enough reasons for me to not bring a car.
But, if your legs still have the final say, then at least take the bus.
Read more here: http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/energy-use/transportation/