The Problem: high carbon footprint, fossil fuels, air pollution
The Solution: public transport, walking, cycling, sharing lifts
- Travelling makes up about 26% of the average UK citizen’s carbon footprint. How you get to or from work or school every day is really important.
- Driving to work in a non-electric car is the worst option out there, but for many people changing that is logistically very difficult. If you live in an area with good public transport links, using the train or bus is probably the best way to travel if you have a long commute. If your journey is short, could you try to walk or cycle to work, at least a few days a week? If you are unsure, try it out for a day and see how it works. Even one day avoiding the car can reduce your carbon footprint significantly. If you are employed, see if your employer is signed up with a cycle to work scheme, which could help you save on the cost of a bike.
- An electric bike is the most efficient form of transport. They are also quick and help you cycle up hills whatever level of fitness you are at! If you live at a fairly short distance from your workplace, they are definitely worth considering as a transport option. Whilst quite a large initial investment, charging them is really cheap (around 5p for a full charge) so could help you save in the long run, whatever form of transport you currently use. If you are not sure, many cycle shops and rentals offer them to hire so you could go and try one out for the day to see what you think. Again, if your employer is signed you with a cycle to work scheme, you could get a deal on a new bike.
- If these options are not viable for you and you have to drive, think about switching your next car to an electric vehicle. The infrastructure is improving all the time and as battery technology improves, range is increasing and charging time decreasing. Again, while many can be more expensive than their petrol or diesel counterparts, the tax relief and decreased fuel costs can help you save in the long term. Generally, a full charge on a fast-charge point costs around £5 for about 120 miles and charging at home on your mains electricity is even cheaper. As more people switch to electric vehicles, the infrastructure will only get better, the prices cheaper and the air quality in town and city centres will be so much cleaner.