Walking is a fantastic way to help with lowering CO2 emissions. Walking can easily offer benefits that public transit does not reliably offer. Public transit offers low emission ways to travel moderate distances, however it does not familiarize people with their local environments. Buses and subways often have their own social cultures. Most people on the subway want to be left alone. While some subways such as the NYC metro have a rich culture of street performers, other subways do not. The Boston Charlie system for example is extremely hostile towards such performers.
Walking offers us a way to be more socially present and opens up more possible social interactions. This does not necessarily involve bothering strangers on the street. Walking increases the likelihood that you will come across local flyers or free items on the curb. While this may seem to have a tenacious connection to helping the environment, it can actually have a large impact. Reducing your own consumption or properly reselling someone's old electronics are two fantastic ways to make use of curbside goods. Many people throw away perfectly usable items in favor of buying new goods. These new goods are likely shipped from overseas or made in an unsustainable manner. Curbside scavenging is one turn a walk into a way to further reduce emissions.
Building local community is also vital in further reducing your emissions. A person who is not invested in the area they live is more likely to travel for social events and more likely to be unaware of local environmental initiatives. A well meaning consumer could buy "locally produced" goods from Whole Foods. Sometimes this label means that an item was produced on a local scale in another state! Yikes how embarrassing! The best way to avoid this is to become accurately aware of your own local economy. Living in the internet age provides us with the opportunity to network online with ease. However, not everything is online. Sometimes you first find out about an event through a flier or seeing something directly. Sometimes websites aren't properly updated and the best way to get involved is to directly interact with people face to face.
Building community in this manner may seem strange but it helps create solid networks of exchange. You might have never realized how close a local church is until you passed it on a walk. You might then find out that a local woman is giving away a bulk food item which you love, minimizing your economic consumption and preventing her from throwing it out. Little things like this might seem small, but once you build a life around your local area, it can drastically alter how you consume and travel.
Walking also deeply connects you with how others in your community live. Many people accuse environmentalists of being trapped on campuses or trapped in social bubbles. When you walk you directly see people face to face. You see what neighborhoods are like and how they live. You can see which areas are in need of more green space and which areas could use some extra help with removing litter. Some people count planting trees and other plant life as a method to reduce CO2 emissions.
If you are planning on lowering CO2 emissions, then walking is a fantastic lifestyle choice. Beyond the obvious reduction in gasoline usage, it can also become the framework for an eco conscious lifestyle.