Transport accounts for about 25% of the average UK person's carbon footprint. Reduce your footprint by following the advice below
Over the coming weeks, we will be creating a series of blogs and articles to explain how the way you get around impacts on your Carbon Footprint. Here are just some of the topics we hope to cover
Reducing car usage
Walking & Cycling
If you would like to suggest a topic for us to cover, or if you would like to write and article for us, do get in touch
Top Tips for Reducing your Carbon Footprint
Consider your mode of Transport
UK Gov figures show that Transport produced 27% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Of this, the majority (91%) came from road transport vehicles. The biggest contributors were cars and taxis, which made up 61% of the emissions from road transport.
Try walking or cycling to school or work for a whole week
Consume less energy by only making essential car trips
Consider sharing your journeys or even better, share your car
Use alternative forms of eco-friendly transport like buses & trains
How can I reduce my carbon footprint when I still need to use my car?
We all need to get about and often using a car is the only viable option. Not everyone can afford to own a car but if you do, consider these tips:
Service your car regularly and keep the tyres properly inflated
Drive smarter to reduce fuel usage by smooth acceleration and braking
Don’t leave your engine running unnecessarily - avoid idling
Use the radio and map apps to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams
Watch your speed / use cruise control on long journeys
Don’t carry unnecessary items and avoid using air conditioning
Thinking of Flying? – you can reduce your impact on the planet (and your wallet)!
Seriously consider the alternatives to flying before you book your holiday or business trip
Try holidaying in the UK, travelling by train, car or bike
Many European locations are now reachable by comfortable high-speed trains – generating about a fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions of flying.
Flying abroad from the UK alone accounted for 37 million tonnes of emissions in 2019. That’s around 500kg CO2e more for every person in the UK
Flying – do you need to go that far?
Avoiding Long Haul or Transatlantic flying can reduce your impact by more than ten-fold, compared to flying to Europe.
If you do really need to fly, make sure that you purchase enough ‘carbon credits’ to offset the greenhouse gas emissions.
The airlines and the aero industry are trying to cut these emissions and many include ‘carbon offset’ as standard but
We all need to think before we fly.
Greenhouse gas emissions: Return flight to Europe from the UK emits around 250 kg of CO2e per person, a return to New York is around 1 tonne and a long-haul return trip to Oz emits over 3 tonnes!
Do you still need to own a car?
Community owned and operated not-for-profit car schemes have been around for at least 20 years. Due to growing pressure to reduce emissions and the growth of clean energy, new schemes are specifically piloting rural community owned electric vehicles (EVs). You can use a climate friendly EV for as little as £3 per hour – potentially saving you £3,500 a year.
Each carbon neutral club EV car can displace up to 18 owned vehicles.
They can also be used by volunteers helping locals to access important appointments, shopping and social events.
More ideas on a whole range of cleaner, healthier alternatives to sharing, owning a car can be found via:
Offset your carbon when flying
Carbon Credits enable you to offset your climate impact by funding projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through projects such as planting trees or building carbon free energy systems.
Most airlines offer these, but you can buy them through other providers.
Make sure that any carbon credits you buy are “Gold Standard”, as this will confirm that any carbon reductions are certified, genuine, independently verified and traceable. These projects can also help the communities where they are based to improve their environment.
Gold Standard for Carbon Offsets: https://www.goldstandard.org/our-story/gold-standard-offsetting-guide
Walk and Cycle more
‘Active travel’ is healthy, money saving alternative to using cars or buses.
National charities like Sustrans are working hard to make this happen.
In 2021, they added 203 miles of walking and cycling routes in partnership and 3.4 million journeys to school by foot or by wheel were recorded in the ‘2021 Big Pedal’ campaign
They also campaign locally (and nationally) for safer road systems that put pedestrians and cyclists ahead of cars and buses
More ideas are available via: www.sustrans.org.uk
How often do you need to fly?
A small proportion of Frequent Flyers account for the majority of emissions, so try to reduce how often you fly.
Some people choose to fly only every other year – halving their emissions
Avoid Car Idling
Don't leave your car idling when it is stationary, especially if it is outside a school.
Any emissions coming out of the exhaust will be breathed in by small children walking past.
Read this thought provoking article written by HCA member David R. An edited version of this article recently appeared in the Harborough Mail.