'Normality is a paved road. It's easy to walk but no flowers grow'
Vincent van Gogh
Transport accounts for around a quarter of UK greenhouse gas emissions and affects air quality at the roadside. It's such a major contributor to climate change, but there are many low-carbon, high efficiency alternatives. One of the worst offenders is aviation; in 2015 flights produced 781 million tonnes of CO2. As an alternative you could use an international bus service like https://www.flixbus.com or travel abroad by train using a service like https://www.interrail.eu/en . In this way you will reduce your carbon footprint and you'll have the chance to pass through landscapes and towns which you would never have the chance to see from the air. It's more of an adventure!
Getting to work
Cycling is one of the greenest options. Sometimes unwanted bikes are posted on https://www.freecycle.org
Most cities offer free cycle route maps. It's good exercise and often quicker than sitting in traffic. Make sure you get a light if you're travelling at night; here's a link to a review of solar powered lights: http://www.thesolartransition.com/4-best-solar-powered-bike-lights/
Driving smoothly, turning off your air conditioning and using cruise control all help. Sat navs can help you avoid getting lost and wasting fuel. Newer cars will likely be greener than old ones but consider that lots of energy is consumed in the manufacture of a car.
Walking, Cycling, Boating Holidays
Be daring and travel on your own steam! The UK is criss-crossed with public footpaths, canals, rivers and cycle routes; both long distance and short. You can set off on an adventure from your own front door! Find more inspiration and information using the following links.
To learn about the National Cycle Network:
The Guardians review of Britain's best long distance hikes:
The National Trails website includes details of circular walks and cycle routes:
This website offers canoeing holidays:
Click on the PDF link (left) to check out a transport fact sheet which compares the CO2 emissions from various modes of transport, and what's best for individuals and families.
For long distance low emission transport at reasonable prices check:
fares from £1.50
cheap uk travel
cheap bus travel throughout europe
Use the Zap Map to find electric charging stations near you
Electric vehicles are zero-emission at point of use. However, emissions are produced during the generation of electricity, the amount depending on the method of generation. Therefore, the emissions need to be considered on a life cycle basis so as to include power station emissions.
'For climate change gases (such as CO2), electric cars charged using average UK ‘mains’ electricity show a significant reduction in emissions – the figures suggest a reduction of around 40% compared to an average small petrol car (tailpipe 120 g/km CO2).
However, if an electric car is compared with a fuel-efficient diesel car (tailpipe 99 g/km CO2), the life cycle carbon benefit for an electric car using average ‘grid’ electricity is around 25% – a smaller but still significant reduction.' From https://www.zap-map.com/electric-vehicles/ev-basics/