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Walk & Cycle More

What

Short car journeys are responsible for more carbon pollution than you might think. Other options like buses are better, but still have an impact. Replacing them with walking or cycling will cut your carbon pollution, reduce air pollution in your neighborhood and probably make you healthier and happier, too.

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Why

Short journeys by car may feel insignificant but they have a big impact. In some countries, more than 40% of car journeys are less than 4km long - and during those first five minutes cars emit twice as much pollution.

Walking and cycling have other benefits too. Less money spent on petrol or transport. Less cars on the road means less air pollution and cleaner air for you and your family to breathe. Walking or cycling for 30 minutes will burn 99 kal or more - and if you do this each day you’ll easily exceed your recommended 2½ hours of exercise each week. Not only that, those who walk to school or work are shown to be more alert, have better concentration and be more productive.

How

By foot

This one’s easy. Get some comfy shoes, open the door and start walking. If it's not possible to complete a journey on foot, can you build a walk into your journey? Perhaps by walking to a train or bus that’s further away?

By bicycle

If you don’t already have a bike, consider buying one second hand, or check with your employer - some organizations have schemes to help you save money. When you head off, take time to plan your route and use a good map to help - it’s often worth thinking about whether you want to prioritise speed or a quieter, safer ride.

If you’re a nervous cycler, consider searching for bike safety training - again this is often subsidized by local governments so might be cheaper than you think. Finally, remember to keep your bike in good repair - a well-maintained bike lasts longer and is a lot more fun to ride.

References

40% of UK car journeys are less than 2 miles:
ONS

Cars emit twice as much pollution in first five minutes:
EQUA Index

Walking or cycling for 30 mins burns 99 cal or more:
NHS

Walking for 30 minutes meets your 2 ½ hours of exercise:
Public Health England

Walking helps you become more productive and alert:
The Guardian

Step impact calculations:

Travel emissions based on Defra Conversion Factors 2019, using Well-to-Tank data.