017: Take a walk!

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL, SAVES MONEY

Short journeys taken in cars are our most damaging individual trips in terms of carbon emissions. Your car is at it’s most polluting when cold and it uses more fuel. Also, very short trips are usually in urban areas that suffer poor air quality.

So if a commute, school run, shopping trip, errand, visit or trip is a short one (see below for a definition of short!) then for this action we’d like you to walk instead of taking the car.

And, if a commute, school run, shopping trip, errand, visit or trip really does require the car, then we’d like you to park up early; a few minutes walk from your destination.

These small actions will reduce your consumption of fossil fuels, save carbon emissions, lead to a cleaner, healthier air quality, save you money and improve your health.

Why is this important?

Crucially, the reduction of carbon emissions and fossil fuel use is essential if we are to combat global warming.

Reducing our dependency on the car will also improve local air quality, limit particulates from fuel, tyres and brakes, make our town and cities much more friendly and welcoming and safe, and improve our physical and mental health.

We are not going to be able to change overnight. We are too far wedded to our cars and our infrastructure for alternative transport is still only poorly developed in comparison to road systems around the world. However, we can all help, a little, by trying to take the car out of the equation on the shorter journeys.

What do we mean by “short”?

Well for the purposes of this action we’d say:

  • if you can walk it in 10 minutes or less, then walk (about half a mile at 3 mph walking pace)
  • if you can cycle it in 10 minutes or less, then cycle (about a mile and a half at 10 mph cycle pace)

What to do

  • if your journey is less than half a mile, then walk
  • if you can walk further, then brilliant – go for it
  • if you do “the school run” by car, make it a family walk instead
  • if you drive into town, park earlier – say ten minutes walk from your destination. This will:
    • save your fuel cost and carbon emissions
    • save you time and fuel driving around looking for a parking space at the shops
    • make it more likely you can park for free (kerr-ching!)
    • improve your physical health
    • improve your mental health (driving in town is stressful!)
    • ♿ leave parking spaces free and reduce traffic for people who really do need to use a car
    • allow you to see more and learn more about your environment

What’s not to like?

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