We don’t spend a lot of time travelling, but when we do, we think about how we can do it better.
At Perfectly Fresh we avoid travel wherever possible (like everyone else we are no strangers to Zoom “you’re on mute Simon”) but each week we need to move between our different locations. We try to use trains, share cars, and drive hybrid and electric. It got us thinking – all this seems like a good idea, but how good is it?
Travel Carbon Emissions
Did you know that transport accounts for around a quarter of CO2 emissions globally? It’s one of the biggest areas for improvement and luckily, something we can improve on.
The UK Government shared that 27% of UK emissions are from transport, and that’s mostly coming from cars. Considering that cars are mostly idle in our drive or carpark, that’s a lot. It’s clear there are things we can do to reduce our overall carbon footprint.
So we had a look around, and here are just a few ideas to help you make some simple changes to your everyday life and help to protect the environment!
If you don’t own a car – maybe don’t buy one and rent instead. If you do invest it’s always better to go electric and if you can buy pre-owned, then even more resources are saved compared to a brand-new car.
Swap your shorter car journeys for cycling or walking
Stats from the UK Government show that 60% of journeys in England from 1-2 miles are made by car or van. Why not try that same journey on foot, or on bike? This way you not only help to cut down emissions, but it’s a good way to get some fresh air, keep fit and save money at the same time.
In addition to this, the School Streets Initiative aims to reduce school traffic during drop off and pick up, helping to reduce pollution and protect kids’ health.
If you fancy trying to get out on a bike more, the National Cycle Network have a super handy map of cycle routes that are free of traffic! In cities the new C40 lanes are appearing to make cycling in urban centres easier too.
When travelling long distance, try public transport
Most places are accessible by either trains, buses, or trams. This is a good way to help to reduce carbon emissions when travelling long distance, thus ensuring more sustainable travel.
If public transport isn’t available, car-sharing is also an option to look further into and there are companies that help you to find someone to share with. This is also something to keep in mind for shorter distances. Could you car-share with colleagues on the way to work, or if going out with friends could you all jump into one car instead of going separately?
Swap your holiday abroad for something closer to home
The UK has some amazing beaches, beautiful countryside landscapes and interesting cities to explore. We might not have the perfect weather all year round, but there’s so much to see right on your own doorstep.
There are eco-friendly holiday options in all areas of the UK, with places boasting sustainable heating, solar panels, eco-friendly toiletries and more. Here’s some tips (compiled last year by OVO Energy) on how to find an eco-friendly holiday in the UK.
If Travelling Abroad, Could You Embrace Slow Sustainable Travel?
If travelling abroad is what makes you happy, there are ways to travel without the carbon emissions of flying so you’re looking after the planet whilst still visiting amazing places.
There was a time (and maybe there will be again) after completing school, teens would go on a ‘rite of passage’ rail tour of Europe. Check out this map.
In a report done by Energy Saving Trust in 2018, they found that rail travel accounts for just 14g of CO2 per passenger, per mile whilst air travel generates 285g per person per mile!
There are ways to help though if you need to fly. Some airlines either offset their emissions or offer you the opportunity to offset your flight when booking and choosing to use public transport to get to your accommodation once you land is also something that helps to reduce your carbon footprint.
If you’re looking at a short flight, maybe it’s worth checking if you could travel by boat, train, or car instead. Various places within Europe are accessible in this way, and whilst it might be a slower form of travel, it can give you more to see along the way!
How do you tend to travel? Has this made you have a think about how you can travel more sustainably in the future?