In Hawaii, traffic congestion is a real problem. Unlike states like California and New York, landlocked though they may be, the potential is there to build new roads to alleviate traffic congestion. In Hawaii, that just isn’t an option. The island is only so big and new land is not being created any time soon-at least they hope the volcanoes don’t start spewing lava.

So, to help get some traffic off the roads the state has started asking parents and teachers and schools to designate days when students can safely walk or bike to school, instead of riding the bus. The idea is to have fewer buses on the roads, or on the road for less time.

And it seems to be working. Plus, it is having some unexpected benefits in promoting a healthy lifestyle for children.

The problem of heavy traffic on Hawaii can hardly be solved with just a few less buses on the road but it certainly seems to be a step in the right direction. Also, fewer buses on the roads means fewer carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere. And, without so many cars waiting in traffic congestion caused by those buses, well, they have a positive impact on the environment as well.

All of this adds up to a better Hawaii for everyone, not just the drivers.

And if it works for Hawaii, chances are other states will give it a try as well. In fact, the program has proven so successful some schools are reporting a better than 50 percent participation rate among students. That means half of all the students, in some cases hundreds of students, walked or biked to and from school. Less fuel was burned, fewer carbon emissions and fewer buses on the roads. Truly a win, win, win for everyone involved.