Day 3 : Go car free

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What is the one of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint?

A study published in the Environmental Research Letter in 2017 found that four personal actions could make a difference and result in a significant decrease in your carbon footprint :

  • having smaller families (1 child or less)

  • living car free (saves 2.4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year)

  • avoiding air travel

  • eating a plant-based diet (saves 0.8 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year)

These actions have a much greater impact on reducing carbon emissions than commonly promoted strategies like recycling or changing lightbulbs. Eating a plant-based diet, for example, is four times more effective than recycling and eight times more effective than changing your household lightbulbs, when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint.

As shown on the graphic above, living car free is the second most effective action you can take in order to reduce you carbon footprint, so start using public transport, riding a bike, or car sharing !

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Pedalling for lower carbon emissions !

Of all the options, biking is definitely the most exciting and beneficial way to lower your carbon emissions. Plus you can work off your morning scone !

To get started :

  1. Get a bike (get in touch with Rebicycle, buy it second hand, ask your friends/family/neighbours)

  2. Choose your route (try several maybe, before finding the most convenient one - according to slope, traffic, etc)

  3. Go on your first ride (and grab a friend - safety in numbers!)

  4. Upgrade your bike ! Add a basket, honk, torch, flowers… anything !

Be sure to check out Bike There, a website that will help you to get started with riding a bike in NZ.

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But what about hills & wind ?

Maybe switch to an electric bike ?

Not feeling confident or safe enough ?

Get free cycling courses with Pedal Ready if you are based in Wellington for example.

Not enough space to cycle in your city ?

Ask your council ! Support councils who are advocating for improved cycling infrastructure.

Want more info ? More tips ? More stories ?

Check out some Facebook groups : Cycle Wellington, NZ Cycle Touring

Not into biking ? Fair enough !

There are heaps of options:

  • Check your local bus schedule and see if there is a route that gets you conveniently to your destination

  • Ask your friends, family, neighbours and/or co-workers if you can carpool

  • Social anxiety or don’t feel like having the carpool chat ? Car share with Mevo !

  • Take an eco-friendly trip with Green Cabs, who are about to release an amazing app so you can book your rides in a few clicks !

  • Walk !

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