The Covid-19 issue has prevented us from taking this forward as fast as we would like, and more news will follow when we are able. However, there are some interesting policy changes nationally and locally with a focus on Safe Routes, cycling, walking and electric vehicles. We will watch these with interest.
In the meantime these are some principles that are useful at all times and for all of us:
- Don’t Always Drive – is it necessary to use your car on each occasion that you do so, especially if there is more than one vehicle within your family or peer group? Consider walking or cycling, which is fantastic exercise as well as being wholly eco-friendly.
- Carpool Where Possible – if you and several others live and work in similar areas, why not share the responsibility of driving? One car is far better for the environment than three or four when all are taking the same route, especially as it will help reduce congestion on the road and prevent a long line of cars each emitting carbon into the atmosphere.
- Research Vehicle Emissions – a car may still a necessity for you in the modern world, but when you are looking to purchase a new vehicle be sure to check the model’s fuel and CO2 data – or consider an electric car for zero emissions.
- Drive Slower – not only is this practical safety advice that will protect you and other road users from coming to harm, but by cutting out speeding and the unnecessary revving of engines actually will reduce carbon emissions by around a third.
- Use Public Transport – a bus may be a larger vehicle with more emissions than a five-door car, but it also carries up to eight times more passengers. Imagine if the passengers of every car on a bus route were instead sharing the one vehicle – the roads would be virtually empty, and the sky significantly clearer! Trains emit even less CO2, and may well get you to a cross-country destination faster than driving.
- Only Fly When Necessary – One SH2030 member found that in 2017 flying represented 64% of his total emissions as a result of a trip to New Zealand. For businesses, sometimes it’s not actually necessary to jet set across the globe; can a video conference perform the same task as a face-to-face meeting? If you must fly, go economy – it may be tempting to punish your credit card in the name of extra leg room, but the more people that fly economy, the fuller a single plane will be. Holidays in the same country – also known as staycations – are also increasingly popular.