#DitchtheDrive For Earth and See Your City in a New Way

By: Christine Kent

Ride hailing services can be hugely convenient when public transportation is crowded, you’re in a hurry, or you’re lugging a suitcase to the airport. But regularly relying on services like Uber or Lyft for relatively short distances, you may be doing more harm than good for your wallet and the environment.

For one thing, falling into the habit of hopping into ride-hailing vehicles can be expensive. Americans who use these services spend about $4,000 yearly on average. Even casual users may find the costs add up, just like indulging in frequent lattes. Not to mention, if you order a car when you could be walking, cycling or taking public transportation, you miss out on the chance to add a short and easy workout to your day.

Of equal importance is the impact on the environment. Several studies have found that ride hailing is responsible for more traffic congestion. And the more congestion, the more polluted air we breathe.

It’s Time for the #DitchTheDrive Challenge

The good news is that with just a little effort, you can reduce your ride sharing habit, and do good for your wallet, your health, and the environment. The goal: challenge yourself and your friends or colleagues to come up with alternatives to ride sharing and see who can go the longest without reverting back to their ride apps. You can spread the word about your efforts (and successes) using the hashtag #ditchthedrive on Instagram.

Once you’ve picked a start date and recruited friends, consider tracking your progress. If you or your teammates use fitness tracking devices, you can compare how many more steps or miles you’re logging on foot. You can also use social apps designed to track walking or cycling, then share that data with friends so you can trade supportive or competitive messages.

Support your #ditchthedrive participants and share ideas for making walking and cycling easier. For example, start small by running errands on a bike or walking instead of driving. Or share gear that will help them run errands more effectively, like a cargo bag for a bike or a wheeled shopping cart for groceries.

Give Back Your Savings

Once you’ve dialed back the ride hailing, try to keep that momentum going—chances are walking, busing or cycling is better than you thought it would be. And about that extra money in your pocket: why not do even more good for the environment by donating some of your #ditchthedrive savings to our vetted nonprofits leading the charge against climate change like Conservation International or Climate Reality Project. Giving back is the perfect way to cap off your #ditchthedrive and hopefully inspire you to use ride sharing apps less after the challenge is over.

Ready to #DitchTheRide? Join the challenge on ThatHelps and invite your friends!

Photo: Clem Onojeghuo from Pexels