Would you be willing to give up one car journey a week to save the planet? Sustrans thinks you would and the sustainable transport charity is going to give people across Britain the chance to reduce their carbon footprint and make a real difference in the fight against climate change through its new Change Your World campaign which starts today..
The charity hopes that thousands will visit www.changeyourworld.org.uk and promise to swap just one car journey between 29 June and 4 July in favour of walking, cycling, taking public transport, car-sharing or simply not making the trip at all!
Based on Department for Transport data Sustrans says that if everyone in Britain made one less car journey every week it would reduce car travel by at least ten per cent, which would mean an annual saving of almost 7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
This would be a significant step towards achieving Britain’s target to reduce emissions to at least 34 per cent below 1990 emissions by 2018-22, set by the Chancellor in April as part of the World’s first carbon budget.
Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ Chief Executive, said:
‘One person changing just one journey may seem like a small step. But when that person is among thousands of others, all making their own pledge to leave their cars at home, then the potential impact is huge.
‘Individually, we can all take positive action to tackle climate change, reduce traffic congestion, and increase our activity levels. Collectively, it will make a difference.’
As well as benefiting the environment, people who swap a journey as part of Change Your World will be improving their health.
A quarter of all car journeys are two miles or less, so walking a two-mile journey instead would burn an average of around 140 calories – the equivalent of a medium glass of wine or a bag of crisps. A steady two-mile cycle journey would burn an average of 80 calories – the equivalent of a chocolate digestive biscuit. [note 2]
Pledgers don’t have to walk or cycle. Using public transport instead of the car will help increase activity through walking to and from stations and stops. It’s also a far more sociable way of travelling - as is car-sharing - and will help cut local traffic congestion.
In 2008, around 8000 people pledged to swap a journey as part of Change Your World. Sustrans is hoping even more people will get involved this year and demonstrate that alternatives to personal car travel are a real option.
For more information, or to make a pledge, visit www.changeyourworld.org.uk or to find out more about Sustrans and how to support its work, visit www.sustrans.org.uk
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.