With transport now the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, sustainable travel can make a significant contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change.
Alternatives such as public transport and carpooling can save you money, and walking or cycling help to reduce obesity and associated physical and psychological stresses associated with a daily commute. Working remotely and taking out the commute altogether can help with both of these, as well as supporting a work/life balance.
“Be the Start of Smarter Travel” is the key message in week four of the Business in the Community (BITC) and HRH initiative, Start, campaign — Be the Start.
Engaging over 31 brands across each of the 31 days in May, the campaign aims to engage consumers on all aspects of sustainability. Previous weeks have looked at health and happiness, resourceful living and vibrant communities. This week, May 20 – 27th, is about encouraging smarter travel.
Brands involved this week range from car sharing organisations to cycling charities, sustainable travel promoters and big brands such as Eurostar and Microsoft, who is behind the Anywhere Working scheme. Below is a list of what to look out for this week.
The week kicks off with Eurostar on May 20th, promoting sustainable travel. Eurostar passengers can lower their carbon footprint as train journeys emit 80% less carbon emissions than flying equivalent distances.
On May 21st, a collaboration of car-sharing brands remind us of the options available if travelling by car is indeed the best option. Liftshare’s Quick Search helps you see who else is going your way, and goCarShare uses social media to connect users with like-minded travel companions. If you are a driver yourself, BlaBlaCar can help make your journey more cost- and resource-efficient by filling empty seats. While carbon heroes encourages you to stop and rethink how you travel altogether.
On May 22nd, Greener Journeys is encouraging people to switch from one car journey a month to bus or coach; if everyone in the country did this it would take off one billion car journeys from the road each year. Fewer car journeys and more bus journeys mean healthier and happier people and a greener environment, and carsharing enables more connected communities.
May 23rd will see a cycling collaboration between PleaseCycle, CTC, Sustrans and Cycle Scheme UK. Using incentives to encourage a change in behaviour, Cycle Scheme are promoting their Bike Miles challenge and likewise PleaseCycle’s Stravel app encourages people to log their sustainable travel journeys to win rewards. If cycling every day is too daunting, Sustrans' approach is to encourage fitness by cycling just one or two journeys a week.
Backed by companies such as Microsoft, the Anywhere Working initiative will use creativity to prove a point — that you can work everywhere. Following on from the successful Anywhere Working Office, a branded rickshaw that couriered office workers around London (complete with coffee and wi-fi), on May 24th, Anywhere Working will launch the ‘pedal-powered boardroom,’ to prove that you can work anywhere as well as highlighting the physical and mental benefits of fitness to relieve stress.
The weekend will see Green Traveller and Visit England promoting sustainable travel in the UK. With great holiday destinations in the UK, Green Traveller would like to encourage holidaymakers to think about how they get to and around their destinations. Visit England will also encourage holidaymakers to holiday sustainably by eating local food, using public transport, championing local businesses and choosing attractions carefully.