5 Ways Sustainable Transportation Can Improve Your Life

By Ann Gordon

March 2022

There is a lot more to sustainable transportation than meets the eye. It saves our environment and improves your physical and mental health while also improving your quality of life. Let's explore five different ways sustainable transportation can improve your lifestyle and health with the help of transportation demand management (TDM).

What is Sustainable Transportation?

Sustainable transportation refers to any type of transportation that has minimal impact on the environment. This includes options such as walking, cycling, using electric bikes or cars, public transit and carpooling. The sustainability of your transportation methods are relevant to your current needs, meaning in situations where you need to travel by car - try carpooling instead of driving alone. In a situation where you can avoid all automotive vehicles, cycle or walk. You can use the SmartCommute.ca app to explore your different options on how to get to where you need to go. Here are some ways that sustainable transportation can improve your life and tips on how you can become a more sustainable traveler.

1. Improves your physical health

Sustainable transportation creates a more sustainable lifestyle. We now live a sedentary lifestyle which is harmful to our physical health. Studies show that only 16% of Canadians are getting enough exercise per day. That means that the greater majority of people are not being active enough to maintain their physical health.

For many people, one of the main reasons they do not exercise is because of a lack of time. Luckily, there is a solution to that. You can include exercise into your daily routine by cycling to work or walking to your next destination. This may take a little longer than driving a car but it does two things at once - gets you to your destination and gets you to be more active. By using active transportation you make your commute time more productive for your health.

The cities of Markham and Richmond Hill continue to build more bike lanes to help you cycle safely. Plan ahead and cycle to places that are under five kilometers.

2. Improves your mental health

It is a fact that physical activity makes us feel better mentally. When we exercise, our bodies release a hormone called “endorphins” which brings us pleasure. Our minds and bodies are inherently connected, meaning that if you move well, you feel well. In addition, it also helps us feel good about ourselves when we take action to help combat climate change. The results are that you improve your mental health both physiologically and consciously.

The next time you go out with a friend, walk to a nearby cafe or attraction to get more active and support the local community while reducing your carbon footprint.

3. Provides the opportunity to be more mindful

Many studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can significantly improve your quality of life. With the constant media onslaught from our phones and computers, it can be difficult to detach yourself and live in the moment. Using transportation methods other than driving a vehicle allows you to be more present at the moment. When you walk or cycle, you open yourself up to observing the world around you. When you take transit or carpool, you have the opportunity to be mindful and reflect on the scenery around you. This is time that you can take for yourself to destress and reflect or get moving.

Passive transportation opens you up to see so much more of life rather than just the license plate of the car in front of you. Learn your bus routes and observe the world around you as you watch the streets pass you by.

4. Improves air quality

Our transposition systems account for 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions making it the single largest contributor to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Transportation pollution is the single leading factor in reduced air quality.

According to the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit organization that used researched-based evidence to make Canada a more sustainable place, “Traffic-related air pollution in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area is responsible for about 1,000 early deaths and 3,000 to 4,000 hospital admissions each year for strokes, heart attacks, lung infections and asthma.”

With thousands of cars taking to the roads every day, every action counts. When you need to travel a distance too far to walk or cycle, take public transit or carpool. Find carpool or transit companions using the SmartCommute.ca app .

5. Saves you a LOT of money

Having your own vehicle is very expensive. With rising gas prices, maintenance fees, parking and other road fees, the price for travel adds up quickly; very quickly. You can choose to carpool with a partner and reduce your fees by almost half. Alternatively, you can choose to use transit for a much smaller price or if suitable, you can cut your cost down to zero by walking or cycling.

Sustainable transportation is also sustainable for your wallet. The next time you look to adjust your budget, look for ways that you can reduce your transportation costs.

How TDM can help

Transportation is a daily necessity and the way that we get from one place to another makes a difference to our environment and wellbeing. Learning and exploring your sustainable transportation options is vital to making the most of the resources around you.

Transportation demand management (TDM) implements programs and incentives for individuals to reduce single-occupant driving and switch to more sustainable transportation modes. Examples of TDM strategies include personalized travel planning, advanced online ride matching or trip tracking tool, travel assessment/surveys to collect travel impact, custom workshops, events, and campaigns. Learn more about how to improve your company's sustainability here.


Sustainable transportation is more than just helping the environment, it creates a sustainable lifestyle. It tackles all of the major issues we face in our current society including environmental, health and money concerns. Explore your travel options today and find a better you!