Today, 22 September, cities around the world join together to celebrate World Car Free Day and encourage motorists to give up their cars for a day.
London will be taking part in the event, as the city takes significant steps towards its ambitious net zero targets, including addressing transport emission levels. While cars are now more efficient than ever, the growing number of cars on UK roads continues to contribute to harmful emissions.
Vehicle numbers in the UK have increased from 240,000 in 1950 to a staggering 33.8 million in 2017. And by 2018, road transport accounted for around 33% of the UK’s CO₂ emissions. So World Car Free Day is a much-welcomed initiative to reduce our reliance on emission-heavy vehicles. Championing greener modes of transport.
Air pollution is one of the biggest health emergencies facing current and future generations, and poses a serious risk to both public health and the environment. With more than 40,000 deaths each year linked to air pollution, and a continually depleting climate, it is essential that we reduce our transportation emissions.
We take a look at how you can reduce your transport footprint this World Car Free Day.
Choose public transport
Residents of larger cities across the country are increasingly shunning cars as a mode of transport. But city dwellers continue to rely heavily on taxis, which are just as harmful to the environment. Councils are now beginning to acknowledge the issue, and have begun to provide cities with green public transport options.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that all new London buses will be zero emissions. This bold step will impact the city’s emission levels significantly, and encourage eco-conscious citizens to catch a bus rather than make the journey by car.
A car emits around 4.6 tonnes of CO₂ on average every year. So, taking public transport or joining a carpool could significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
Switch to electric vehicles
Transport is the largest contributor of greenhouse gases in the UK. Businesses that switch to electric vehicles can reduce their emissions considerably, while also adhering to government legislation (such as the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, ESOS).
Aside from consuming no fuel and releasing no emissions, EVs come with several other advantages. With fewer moving parts, and no oil to change or engine to manage, electric vehicles are often easier to maintain. Accelerating faster than gas-powered cars, they are considered to have a higher performance rate and they are generally cheaper to run than petrol-based vehicles.
Choose to cycle
Car pollution harms many different aspects of the environment. Aside from polluting the air, the harmful produced emitted by vehicles can damage ecosystems, and contribute to noise pollution. Choosing to cycle reduces your emissions and eases traffic congestion, automatically reducing the damage to the environment and the wider atmosphere.
While picking up your bike brings many environmental benefits, it also comes with a number of advantages that can benefit you every day. Cycling keeps you active and saves money that would otherwise be spent on fuel or fares. Being active in this way can also improve your mental health. After a stressful day, a cycle could actually help you while you help the Earth.
Many households and businesses opt for convenience over sustainability when it comes to supplies. And while some products may be harder to find nearby, a local supplier offers many advantages. Such as reducing emissions on delivery, saving money, and reducing unnecessary packaging.
Shopping locally also brings social benefits to the community. When you choose to spend your money in local independent shops, that money is then distributed back into the local economy. This in turn helps to improve the area, with investment in public infrastructure and the generation of jobs. By making small changes, you can make a big impact.
How can we help?
To make progress towards net zero, we must first find out where we have gone wrong and make adjustments to reduce our inefficiencies.
At Monarch, we focus on helping our clients find the most effective energy saving solutions tailored to their needs. Our expert team, years of experience, and range of comprehensive services allow us to help you to help the environment.
Get in contact to hear more about how Monarch can help you start your journey towards sustainability.