Transportation Sustainability Practices

Transportation is one of the leading sources of carbon emissions both globally and in the United States. It is widely recognized by the scientific community that these increased emissions are contributing to the changing climate. We Durangoans have experienced some of these changes firsthand, with occasional shorter, later, or milder winters, and the intense fire seasons that often result. As human beings are at least partially responsible for some of these changes, we should take responsibility to minimize our carbon footprint. Reexamining and changing our methods of transportation can be a powerful place to start. Here are some solutions to help you create more sustainable transportation choices.

Easy and Short Term Solutions

There are plenty of solutions to give your transportation an eco-friendlier makeover. Listed below are some options to get the “wheels turning” for how you can make changes to your individual transportation choices, and/or inspire friends and colleagues to make greener choices:  

  • Take public transportation. We have such a great trolley system that runs the span of town and is within any budget.

  • Better yet, walk or bike to your destination when weather permits. 

  • If biking everywhere feels like too large a commitment, then look into getting an electric bike. There are plenty of bike shops in town that can help you choose the right type for your lifestyle.

  • If you do drive, optimize your fuel economy by planning more fuel-efficient routes. Batch your errands. Make sure to enlist cruise control for longer trips and always avoid idling your vehicle.

  • Change your car’s air filter with regularity. This helps the vehicle to run more efficiently.  

  • Carpool or rideshare when possible. If you’re a business owner, encouraging team members to carpool can be a team building experience and encourage stronger bonds among your staff. Win win! 

  • Parents can also create a ride sharing program to get their little ones to and from school, and onward to after school activities.

  • Ridesharing information is available through the City of Durango's "Way to Go Durango" platform.

Future and Longer-Term Solutions

If you're ready to look at “bigger picture” sustainable transportation practices and solutions, here are a few ideas. 

  • Look into purchasing a more fuel efficient vehicle. There are plenty of hybrid and/or battery operated cars that reduce or eliminate your reliance on fossil fuels, thus emitting fewer greenhouse gasses while helping you save on fuel costs. If you’re looking for further incentives, there are even lots of businesses around town that prioritize electric or hybrid vehicle parking. 

  • Hybridize work: for businesses and employees, see if there are work days that you can work from home. 

  • Minimize work travel by seeing if you can attend meetings virtually, and only attend “in person” work travel if absolutely necessary. This option will also feed the business’ bottom line as they won’t need to pay for plane tickets and other travel expenditures. 

  • If you plan to travel, make it a road trip. If it’s too far or you can’t stomach that long of a “scenic drive” then see if you can get a direct flight wherever you’re headed. If a direct flight is unavailable, aim for as few flights as possible as more airplane hops equal more fuel used. And always pack light to lighten the plane’s overall load!


Human beings can no longer ignore climate change. The time is upon us to re-examine all of the lifestyle habits we can change to minimize our overall ecological footprint. Examining and changing our transportation methods is one powerful way that we can begin to minimize our own carbon footprint and start working our way towards a more sustainable future.