We all love to travel - get out of the house, do the shopping, get the kids, get to work, do business, see new sights and go on holidays. It's essential. However, take a minute to consider your options. Maybe change 1 point out all the suggestions and your will cut some greenhouse gases. Remember every little bit adds up- you will also save money on fuel.
On this page we will talk about travel in almost every form as follows:
1. Walking- obviously the cheapest, easiest, healthiest, most self-reliant, environmentally- friendly way of getting around. Not always practical but the choice is there….hmm walk or bike to the corner shop, leave a little earlier and consider driving less and walking more.
2. Bike-riding - cities all around the world are creating very bike friendly environments, e.g. Princess Mary's new hometown of Copenhagen- 1/3 of all commuters bike to work. Lyon, Paris and Barcelona have set up bike stations that are a distance apart. You can use a card at some cost to release the bike from their stands. They are serviced for you and you return it after your use at the next bike station. That would be a fabulous idea for all CBDs and popular tourist destinations. In Sydney, Fairfield have began promoting bike usage.
3. Public Transport - including buses, trains and trams. We all need to use more of this service! It's up to the pollies to make more improvements particularly in the burbs where it is needed the most as they usually have to travel the furtherest. In the future they all might be powered by electricity from renewable energy. How clean!
4. Trains - Can you imagine an efficient train transport system- imagine all freight transport off the road and back on the rail. It would cut down on accidents involving semis too.
Imagine that scenic train trip- no hassles with the car, no driving fatigue.
5. Cars- this market is exploding. Initially there was the Toyota Prius driven by celebrities like Leonardo de Caprio, now there is a whole range of options available to us. My first reaction was to buy a smaller car and not drive as much. Be conscious of trips- do several jobs at the same time or try to ride a bike where you can. Refer to 'Bring it Down' page.
The different new cars on the market or coming onto the market are:
- Extremely fuel-efficient cars
- Ethanol/ petrol mix.
- LPG- there is a rebate for that.
- Hybrid- electricity and fuel backup.
- Bio-diesel- this industry is very hard to control (same as rainforest). Eco-systems are being destroyed to produce palm oil which is defeating the purpose. When using biofuels- consider the source and the amount of land needed to produce the biofeul because this deceases the land available for food production which is already depleted. Note: Biofuels are considered carbon neutral because the offsetting was done in the growing. Hmm, I'll have to think about that one!
- Flexible electric, hydrogen and backup fuel. Love hydrogen as the only by-product is oxygen and water, however we must take into consideration the type of energy involved in the production of the hydrogen.
- 100% electric
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some insurance companies are discounting premiums for cars that are more environmentally friendly. Also in the future there may be carbon tax on gas-guzzlers! At the moment there is only 5% tariff on 4WDs and a 10% tariff on the Prius. Amazing! Not really that logical? That tax was introduced initially for farmers but now most 4WDs are in the city- let's reverse that tariff and catch up with the rest of the world.
For a really good comparison of these cars go to the Australian Federal Government's Green Vehicle Guide website: www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au : The hybrids are at the top of the list.
6. Ship- some eco-travellers are choosing to travel by Freighter Travel on cargo ships- if you don't mind roughing it with no entertainment- maybe catch up on DVDs and books. People are making this choice instead of carbon intensive air travel. Slow boat to China definitely. Normal cruise ships would be less carbon intensive that air travel.
7. Air- may be a necessary evil at this stage as there is no alternate fuel, however aeroplane engines are becoming more efficient. Some airlines and travel companies are offering carbon offset in the price of your ticket. A suggestion is try to decrease your air travel or stay a bit longer and increase tele-communications at home. I'm looking into video conferencing.
If you can holiday closer to home or maybe choose another form of transport less carbon intensive.