If we work together, we can put more time towards rubbish separation, seek fresh air in our cities or create new conservation areas. Want to know where to start? This week, we will be providing simple tips to start building a more climate-friendly life. Whether you're just getting started on the green path or you're a pro, there's tips for everyone. Today we look at getting from A to B and leaving a small footprint. Let's go!
In urban areas, getting around can be a scientific endeavour consisting of calculating the best, most affordable routes and how to get to your destination in the shortest amount of time. But getting from A to B is part of everyday life and with all the news and studies that regularly seem to pop up about the environmental impact of CO2 emissions from cars, finding and using a more sustainable form of transport can help substantially reduce our personal impact on the environment.
We have rounded up a few of our favourite tips for making the journey a little less load-bearing on the planet as well as a list of helpful tools and apps to make journey planning a little less load-bearing on you.
Tip 1: Hit the Streets
Get to where you need to go using the most environmentally friendly form of transport there is – your legs!
Tip 2: Get on Your Bikes and Ride!
This one's a cinch if you live in an area that's bike-friendly. As we discussed in our article on Monday, scooting around on a non-motorised two-wheeler can help you save on CO2 emissions that would otherwise be released by a car. You don't even have to own a bike these days. Lots of city municipalities offer bike-renting schemes (and the Cycle Hire Widget app can help you find one in your city).
The app Bike City Guide is like a navigation system for cyclists, with a plethora of information about bicycle infrastructure and bike-friendly travel routes in a number of European countries while Ride the City also covers a number of cities in the US, Canada and Australia.
Tip 3: Make It Public
An oldie but a goodie, taking public transport helps reduce the number of cars on the roads, easing traffic congestion on the streets and emitting a comparatively lower amount of CO2 than if the same number of passengers drove a car instead. And who knows what ideas might start to form as a result – Albert Einstein first came upon the idea to question whether time is relative while taking the tram on his commute to work.
Tip 4: Share (or Rent) Your Ride
These days, it seems, we aim to get 100 percent use and value from almost every product in our lives...except cars, as evidenced by the number of cars on the road carrying only one passenger. If you have a spare few seats, why not offer them up to fellow commuters or travellers? Carsharing is increasing in popularity and is, along with public transport, one of the few methods of transportation that will cover short, middle and long distance trips. The multitude of services on offer makes booking or offering a spot in a car a lot easier and safer than ever before.
Ridefinder and Bla Bla Car are two web services that cover long-distance ridesharing in European countries while a number of countries (like French start up BuzzCar) have localised services that allow users rent cars easily for a couple of hours or days at a time.
Tip 5: Scout Out Your Journey in Advance (and in a Flash)
In our article from October, we told you how RideScout mobile App is a must have and how it simplifies transit. The app helps users determine the quickest, easiest way to get to their destination by evaluating up-to-date information on all available means of transport: car share; public transport; taxi; walking and cycling. The app is also a boon for people new to a city, helping them navigate all possible commuting options. The app looks to take the headache out of trip planning and encourage people use more sustainable forms of transport.
HopStop works in a similar vein, allowing users to determine the easiest, fastest transit options for their journey (including walking) - the web portal even clocks how much CO2 has been saved by users of the service. HopStop can be downloaded as an app (for iOS only) and covers a number of cities and countries worldwide.
And One More Tip for the Road...
For some, cycling and taking public transport is not an option due to lack of access or lack of proper infrastructure. If you feel like going the extra mile (pardon the pun) and assessing your car's environmental impact, you can download the Greenmeter app which helps reduce fuel consumption and costs by analysing the type of vehicle you own, your driving style and your fuel usage.
What else can you do? Find more quick tips from our editorial special here: Small Steps, Big Impact