How to Get to School the Green Way
8 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Living Green with Children
Green education starts before children even arrive at school when you choose eco-friendly transportation to get to and from the classroom. In some cases, of course, it’s necessary for children to take big yellow school buses to school; that’s actually a very green way to go, too, despite the bus color. If you can’t ride the bus, choose a different yet still eco-friendly way to get kids to school.
Walking to school: If your children’s schools are close enough to walk to, leave the car in the garage. Walking is the greenest way to travel and does the least damage to the environment.
Children love to hang out with their friends, so consider joining forces with other families who travel the same path to school as you and your children. This arrangement can give you adult company to chat with, or you can split the task of walking with the children to school. If enough children in your area head in the same direction to school, consider setting up a walking bus in which the children all walk together with a parent at the front as the driver and another parent at the back.
Setting up a carpool: Organize a group of parents to pick up the number of children that can safely be transported in the smallest car, and then take it in turns to drive them to and from school each day.
Carpools are easiest to manage if they involve just two or three families. Find out which days work best (or worst) for the carpool drivers, and create a schedule that works for everyone and a system for notifying other members of the pool if someone isn’t riding on a particular day.
For safety reasons, it’s essential that everyone involved in the carpool have full contact information for all the children’s parents, along with the children’s addresses, allergy notes, and any important health information. Parents should introduce their own children to the parents who are driving so that stranger danger strategies can be maintained.