Planes, train and automobiles: In this modern age we’re hard-pushed to live without them. And yet, of course they’re one of the biggest causers of carbon footprint there is. In this blog, we’re taking a look at the ways in which you can continue to get places, without having such a detrimental effect on the environment.
It seems like an obvious one, but public transport really is a boon to the environment. Says Translink, “Public transport produces less carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for every passenger km travelled compared to the private car.” Not only that, public transport is seven times safer than using a private car, and usually faster! Walking and cycling are great for the environment obviously – even if it means cutting out one or two car journeys per month. And if you really can’t bear to be away from a car, try sharing journeys into work with a colleague.
Sometimes it’s a joy to drive out to the shops, but more often than not, it’s actually a hassle. Driving to the supermarket is usually a weekly event: by shopping online, you reduce both stress and carbon emissions (delivery vans usually go to more than one address). Shopping as much as you can for things like clothes and holidays online will save you time, and help save the planet.
Electric and hybrid cars are improving in quality and becoming more affordable. The former need to be plugged in overnight (or topped up at one of the car charge points provided at some petrol stations). The G-Wiz is a popular electric model that’s great for getting from A to B. Hybrids like the Honda Civic Hybrid run off both petrol and electric. That way you can be eco-friendly, and stay confident that you won’t run out of juice.
If buying an electric or hybrid vehicle isn’t practical right now, there are still some ways you can cut down on emissions, simply by the way you drive. For one thing, make sure your car isn’t loaded with unnecessary weight: this increases fuel consumption. Having your tyres fully pumped up reduces petrol expenditure too. Braking and accelerating stronger than necessary can add 30% to your fuel bill. Worth being a bit more gentle? Definitely.
There’s no way around creating some carbon emissions. However careful you are travelling abroad on holiday for instance, you’re still going to be burning lots of petrol one way or another. One way to address this issue it to offset your carbon emissions. Sites like ClimateCare provide simple-to-use calculators, which allow you to work out how much you ‘owe’ back to the environment. Then you can pay that money as a donation to one of ClimateCare’s great projects. Ingenious.