Reduce your carbon footprint – Part IV
by Nicoletta Moss
Photo by Clarissa Carbungco on Unsplash
In the last few weeks, we have been talking about how to reduce your personal carbon footprint. We have launched an online campaign sharing tips and ideas of how you could contribute to reaching the Paris Climate Agreement. About 30% of global CO2 emissions are caused by transportation. Naturally, it would be easy to just say: drive an electric or hybrid vehicle. But there are other options too, which we would like to share today with you in our #5x5Challenge – Part IV.
1. Walk and Bike:
Just think about it: do you really have to jump into the car for this package of milk, or could you just walk to the dairy around the corner? Do you need to drive to the fitness studio or would a ride on your bike be the better option?
2. Share your ride
Each morning you sit in traffic. Wasting time, money and petrol. And the guy in the next car does the same, and the next one too. That’s a bit silly. Wouldn’t you agree? Ride pooling is a great option, which you easily can implement into your daily routine.
Image: Cool Ride-pooling Malta
3. Share a vehicle
Do you really, really, really need the second, third and fourth family car? One vehicle per household is totally understandable – for all the multi-stop trips, picking up and dropping off kids, shopping etc. But do you need the second car, which you only use for the daily commute, or here and there for a weekend outing? Don’t you think you would be able to replace this with car sharing or public transport? Think about it. Once you have established a routine, it is easier than you think (and much less expensive too!).
4. Use a trip planning app
If you have to use your car (which is a valid thing to do), plan your trip. When you are flexible with your departure time, make sure you don’t end up in the rush hour. Combine different errands. Maybe you don’t have to drive with your private car all the way to your destination. Go to the nearest P+R, take the bus to the destination and use an e-kickscooter for the last mile. Sounds stressful? Not really – much more relaxing actually than being stuck in traffic and then fighting for a parking space.
5. Reduce your flights
Air travel is by far is the biggest polluter of all transportation. A single return flight from London to New York contributes to almost a quarter of the average person’s annual emissions. If you’re a frequent flyer, you can choose to offset your flights, which only costs you a few bucks per trip. Think twice if this business trip is really necessary. Thanks to COVID-19 home office became the new standard. Can you sort your job out by phone conference? Yes? Well, cancel the flight and enjoy your evening gained with a nice walk through your neighbourhood.
To sum the travel section up: we are not suggesting that you need to sell your car and do everything by foot. We say: be more flexible, explore new options (you will be surprised how much you will discover!).
Start easy: replace one trip per week, which you would have done normally per car and use an alternative means of transport.