First published March 2021
Transport is the UK’s biggest contributor to climate change . It’s responsible for a third of our emissions. Both driving cars and flying contribute to this damage, with flying being responsible for 5% of carbon emissions worldwide.
Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash
Tackling our transport emissions is the focus of this month’s West Bristol Climate Action challenge. With that in mind, here are three things could you do to reduce the amount of damaging travel you’re undertaking at the moment.
1. Swap your car for a bike.
Now that spring is (finally!) on the way, pumping up the tyres of your bike and getting onto the cycle path might feel a bit less daunting than it did in the dead of winter. If you’re travelling about in Bristol, can you do it by bike instead of in the car or a taxi? Read our very first blog for tips on how to switch from driving to cycling.
If you don’t have a bike, could you walk instead of driving? One plus of the pandemic, from my perspective at least, has been how much walking I’ve done. I now have second-hand walking boots and a rain coat, and have come to love listening to an audiobook while I stride the streets. Have a look on the map - your destination might be closer than you think
2. Pledge to go flight free
We’re all desperate for a holiday after a year spent inside - and hopefully we might be able to have one this summer. However, rather than jumping on a plane and heading for the beach or the slopes, could you pledge to go flight free for a year?
Is there somewhere in the UK you’ve always fancied but never been? Or how would you feel about getting the train to Europe? Paris, Berlin and Portugal are all eminently reachable on the train from the UK. Check out this helpful website to plan your trip.
I took myself on holiday to Cornwall two years ago and had a great time. Not only was the holiday itself lovely, but I found lots of unexpected benefits of not flying. Airport security and flying generally makes me quite anxious - it was lovely not to have the pressure of hurrying to the airport and having my knickers rifled through at check in.
There are so many beautiful spots near us here in the South West. Can you go exploring closer to home for your next holiday?
3. Join a car club
There are times when driving feels essential. Maybe you have lots to carry, or you just need to get somewhere quicker than the bus could manage. If you need a car in your life now and then, could you consider joining a car club and sharing, rather than having a car to yourself? This will save you the cost and hassle of owning a car, and will cut your emissions.
You might also find that those journeys you once thought you really needed the car for can actually be managed on public transport or your bike when your car isn’t sitting in the driveway tempting you!
Co-Wheels car club is one option. Others include Zip Car and Karshare.
Do you have any suggestions for how you can travel cleaner in Bristol? If so, post them in the comment box below.