Non polluting daily travel

Reducing the amount of traffic, carbon emissions and pollutions on our street is paramount for reducing overall climate impact.  

 

Whilst there is a demand from citizens for greener travel, electric cars and general non reliance on fossil fuels, city planners, governments and manufacturers are playing catch up. 

 

A number of vehicle manufacturers are accelerating roll out of electrified or hybrid vehicles.  Many global cities impose restrictions of bringing cars into central areas. Neighbourhood parking permits or expensive city parking make it unviable for driving in cities.  Many younger age groups are accustomed to alternative city travel methods and have given up car ownership.

 

So whilst we wait for town/city planners and governments to scale up affordable and Greener public transport, safer cycle lanes and electric vehicular charging points, we can still continue to reduce our personal local travel carbon footprint.

Image by Andrew Roberts

What you can do

It is estimated that the average medium sized car emits 43g of carbon dioxide per kilometer per passenger.  

The local Travel Challenge

 

Think about your weekly travelling patterns

  • Why do you have to travel?

  • What do you have to do?  

  • Where do you go to get things done?

  • How often do you go? 

  • How do you get there? What mode of transport do you use?

  • Can you combine your errands?

  • Can you reduce some of your trips to reduce carbon emissions

  • Can you change your travelling habits?

 

A quarter of car trips cover distances that could be walked instead.  Build walking into your daily routine

Increase your walking steps gradually and find reasons for getting moving.

 

Add walking into going to work, school or local shopping. Change the way you buy your daily groceries and walk to local shops. This will keep 

Local businesses in the area, improve the highstreet and help local populations thrive and build communities.

Consider buying Electric or Hybrid and look for home charging solutions. Check online the data for different Electric cars, the differences, distance can travel, hybrids, and cost of battery replacements.

What others have done

Feet power!

Moving ourselves is essential for preventing disease and health benefits. Walking helps with healthy weight balance, increasing our metabolic rate, cardiovascular function, keeping healthy muscle, joint movement as we age, and getting Vitamin D from being outside.   

 

Pedal power!

This is the cheapest and greenest form of transportation available to people. More people are cycling to shops, schools and workplaces. Can you safely store your cycle where you live? 

For millions the scooter is the modern day workhorse, with less fuel consumption and carbon emissions than motorbikes. Electric scooters range from sit down models to fold up push scooters. many of these can be found for inexpensive hire at docking stations in cities.

Public transport

Increasingly cities are converting to Electrified Public Vehicles.  The infrastructure and modes of transport vary in quality, advancement in technology, connectivity and affordability.  Their carrying capacity allows for less clogging of roads, lowering of overall emissions, resulting in a mass saving on the carbon burned instead of individuals taking to the car.  

Green cars 

The demand for greener cars has led to electric options as well as those which use alternative fuels.

 

However, those using fuels based from ethanol to plant based fermentation of corn have detrimental impacts on land use, increased fertilisers, and food security.

 

For electric cars many apartment blocks have installed green vehicle charging points. 

Image by lutfi gaos

A checklist

USING CYCLES

  • In urban areas check out whether your city or town has a cycle map with all the routes.

  • Are there bicyle stations or electric scooter points where you can rent and leave your bike in cities and towns?

  • Check your workplace. Have they installed staff showers or changing rooms and cycle parking bays? If not ask what they can do to encourage healthier employees.

 

USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Depending on where you are in the world which of the following mass transport systems can you use?

Trains

Busses and Buss Rapid Transport lanes

Trams

Mass Rapid Transport (MRT or the Subway)

E-haling Taxis or Motorbikes

Mini buses and vans

Autorickshaws or Jipneys

Boats on rivers or other waterway systems

 

 Using public transport requires a certain amount of planning in advance. Much of this can be done by Smartphone Apps giving you the most efficient travel routes and timings, if they exist.

USING CARS

Can you share a ride or car pool with colleagues?

Some cities have businesses that offer car share services such as Zipcar or other car share programmes.  

 

In other cities companies have busses for their employees. Find out the Apps for your city. Are there enterprising business that can start one?

 

Can you plan your tasks and journey in advance and combine more trips into one, and how much fuel, carbon emissions and time can you save?

 

AIR TRAVEL

The airline industry pre Covid-19 had made air travel accessible to many around the globe particularly with introduction of budget or low cost airlines.    

 

Aeroplanes emit the most carbon emissions. Although we cannot simply ditch this mode of transport, air transport for cargo and people will become expensive.  As Green economies start to emerge, air and shipping freight industries will also need to develop use of greener and renewable solutions.

 

Choose holidays closer to home using greener alternative transport where possible.

For cross border transport consider using electric trains and long distance coaches instead. This is as much part of the adventure as getting there!

Call for change

Governments and city planners have dragged their feet for decades influenced by powerful petroleum and fossil fuel lobbies and industries who stand to lose if they do not adapt.  

When thinking about how we travel, how does it help us to become a more responsible part of the Circular Economy?

 

1. Call for more cycle ways

Get writing, call, make enquiries to the municipal authorities to improve road lanes, pathways for safe cycling and cycle docking stations to lock your cycle safely in town centres.  

 

2. Promote collective fuel saving transport

Use social media platforms, bring together your neighbours and work on greening your community transport. 

 

3. Call on your elected representatives to vote for greener transport options

Start asking questions of housing authorities, town and municipal authorities to provide adequate electric charging ports and other green public transport solutions.

 

4. Ask car manufacturers key questions as consumers  

When buying your next car or vehicle ask the manufacturer how they are part of the Circular Economy? How efficient and environmentally friendly are the new generation of batteries?

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