Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Test Run Your Feet: Walking to Work

(For all my peeps who bicycle- you rock! I'm chatting about walking here because bicycling to work just isn't in the cards for me. But if you're reading and really want to give it a try- Five Seed has fabulous resources for the bicycling discoverers! 
For all my rural peeps, I understand you can't walk-bicycle-public transit to work. I get it- a 30-45minute car drive on the highway into work just wouldn't be fun. Maybe carpooling or finding an energy efficient vehicle should be your thing.
For everyone else:)

Small eco-step: Test run your feet.

Yep, instead of driving to work, take advantage of the beautiful summer months to give your feet a try and walk (and+or take public transit).

This will be my third year of walking to work and the second year taking the ferry for 70% of my work days. This includes winter months of snow storms. Honestly, my original motivation was lack of parking at the office downtown. The bus system in Halifax is terrible, so it was just easier to walk for 35minutes instead of paying for parking (160$ a month) or an 80$ month bus pass.

Then my office moved across the harbour to Dartmouth. Thankfully it is directly across from the ferry terminal. Unthankfully (yes that is now a word, since blogger didn't outline it in red), the terminal is a 20minute walk from my apartment. For a grand total of 45minutes each way to get to work. Despite it being cheaper to drive (bridge tolls are 70cents vs 2$ for the ferry) and faster (20minutes instead of 45minutes), I prefer walking.

Why you should test drive your feet:

  • No traffic. Not worrying or shouting at bad drivers is pretty blissful (yes, I have road rage...). 
  • Your feet are dependable and on time. No traffic jams or slow drivers will impact when you'll get to work.
  • You'll avoid all those pesky traffic accidents. Just this week there was an accident on one of the bridges and I was the only person at work on time. And might I say quite less flustered.
  • No worrying about parking. Your feet don't need a parking spot!
  • Having that extra bit of quiet time while you walk to work at the start and end of your day will is almost meditative. 
  • You can practice your pranayam while you walk. If you're a yoga geek like that.
  • Even if you don't walk near the water like I do, having your headphones on and listening to your favourite music will help you centre before a work day, or unwind and leave work behind at the end of the day. 
  • Your health will thank you.
  • The Planet will thank you. 
  • Your wallet will thank you.

(The MacDonald bridge with Halifax on the left and Dartmouth on the right from the Ferry. This week it's been blazing sun every morning!)

So, you've read this far and you're like- "Hey, this Lisa gal has got something here!" (yes I do, thank you), I have a few more tips to help you keep this new mode of transport:

When I heard a former colleague say she "never wants to be one of those business women wearing running shoes to work" I was a little confused- seriously? People really judge that? If that's what is holding you back, you don't REALLY need sneakers to walk to work. But having season appropriate footwear is crucial. Here are mine:
Summer- flip flops.
Fall- flats or rubber boots (depending on weather)
Winter- winter boots (or rubber boots) depending on weather.
Spring- rubber boots or flats.

What is convenient, is I usually leave a pair of flats at work when I don't feel like bringing them in my bag while I'm walking.

Weather Protection:
I have an arsenal of weather protection that I use depending on what it's giving for the day. A raincoat is a must in Halifax, as is my fabulous eco-friendly winter coat, mittens, scarf and tuque. I also invested in some leg warmers to wear over my pants during the really really cold winter months.

When you start walking, you should become closely acquainted with your local weather forecast website. Being a fisherman's daughter, I have spent my entire life hearing about weather patterns- so no  issue there. There's nothing worse than walking home and realizing you hadn't checked the weather... and it's pouring out. And you don't have your raincoat.

Also, if you don't like walking in the quiet- download your favourite podcast or make several 'mood inspired' playlists. I listen to radio-canada (usually m├ędium large) every morning.

So who's in?

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. I'm in! I love this post. I'm missing a car so much (due to living way below the poverty level), but I try and console myself by pretending I'm all environmentally friendly and reduce my carbon footprint by walking EVERYWHERE.
    love it!!

  2. Go, girl! I've been trying to walk more, lately. I feel I get a little bicycle-centric and I think since walking was our original, most natural mode of transportation, our bodies probably need that activity to continue to thrive! :) Walking rocks! P.S. Thanks for the link love!


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