Transport & the Environment

 

Transport is a significant contributor to global greenhouse emissions and climate change. You can help the environment by committing to a sustainable transport mode for one or more days per week. Walking, cycling and public transport are the main forms of green travel, but shortening and combining car trips, regular car tuning, or driving a car that runs on cleaner fuel are also green alternatives.

Top five reasons why we should embrace Sustainable Transport

  • it's great for our environment - your kids and grandchildren will thank you for leaving them a healthier, happier, less polluted planet. More walking and cycling (and less car use) reduces greenhouse gas emissions and problems such as pollution and climate change
  • it's great for your health - increased walking in the community can significantly reduce public health costs. Walking and cycling have positive impacts on the rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, blood pressure, cancer, mental health, and the maintenance of mobility and personal independence
  • it enhances community interaction - with more people out of cars and walking the streets instead, your local community will become a safer more vibrant place to be
  • it can save you time and money - no more driving in circles, cruising for a car park. Public transport can take you direct to your destination, often going where cars can't. Leaving the car at home will save you money on petrol, parking, and repairs and maintenance
  • it reduces local traffic congestion - less people driving means less cars on the road, reduced neighbourhood congestion and accidents, and increased pedestrian safety.

 

Smarter Car Use

 

At a household level, the most significant way each of us can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help combat global warming is by reducing our car use. According to the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO, 2006), transport use at the household level is the largest contributing factor to greenhouse gas emissions - accounting for 34 percent of all household emissions.

Thinking Green and Lean

  • cars are a significant contributor to the harmful pollutants in our air, so choosing a car purchase one that has good environmental performance and check the fuel consumption makes good sense
  • leave the car at home! If you commute 30km to work (each way), you could prevent more than one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions annually by taking a train, tram or bus
  • Consider multiple modes in your daily travel. If you drive to the train station, consider walking or cycling instead. It is these small car trips that generate the most greenhouse gas emissions
  • Walk or ride to your local shops. Most of the traffic congestion on local roads is caused by local traffic
  • Sustainable transport is any form of transport that causes less damage to the environment and community than driving, such as walking, bus, tram, train, scooter, bike and carpool
  • Respiratory diseases caused by poor air quality result in at least as many deaths as those from road accidents.

How can an individual or household make a difference?

In attempting to reduce car trips ask yourself, what is the purpose of the trip? (is it necessary), can it be done via another mode? (walk, cycle, public transport) and/or at another time? (i.e can this trip be added to another trip). If you must use your car, avoid excessive idling, hard braking and harsh acceleration. These driving habits lift your fuel consumption and increase emissions.

Using this approach, that is, developing a budget of your travel needs, may identify where wasteful travel practices may be trimmed. Using these steps to reduce your car use and reliance, you may discover the cheaper alternatives to running a second car.

Of course, bigger decisions (and savings) are also possible, for example when the time comes ensure the next car purchased is fuel efficient and uses 'cleaner' fuel (eg a hybrid). Or even better, look to sell a car and not replace it, which is a viable option for households with either public transport.

And for those that want to go a step further, you can offset your vehicles emissions via tree planting and understanding some simple facts about transport use.

Offsetting your Vehicle Emissions

Greenfleet provides an innovative way to reduce your car's impact on the environment through tree planting. Greenfleet will calculate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by your car based on vehicle size and gasoline consumption. You can render your car 'carbon neutral' by paying for Greenfleet to plant and maintain native trees that will absorb your car's yearly carbon dioxide emissions. To find out more about Greenfleet, visit: www.greenfleet.com.au website.


Updated : 3:54 PM, 2 February 2016

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