How I Travel
Travel is one of the main areas where behaviour change can have a rapid and real impact on achieving our climate goals. According to EPA, in 2019, over 20% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions were generated by transport. There is an increase which is caused largely by private cars and flights. We know that changing our means of travel is not simple, and often our habits depend on previous planning and housing choices which has led to a high car dependency. However, alternatives are emerging. Read more here.
See below what short and long-term actions you can take.
Energy use in the transportation sector (i.e., gasoline, diesel, or liquefied petroleum gas), has caused urban air quality to deteriorate and is responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. First, ensure your car is operating as efficiently as possible. For the future consider investing in a hybrid or even better, an electric car. This blog has a great summary of the efficiency of different models.
If you are considering buying a car, double check if you can use alternatives such as public transport, cycling or renting a GoCar. Each GoCar will take about 10-20 privately-owned cars off the road. This frees up space for civic amenities such as wider footpaths, trees and parks.
When cycling, you are not only cutting down pollution but you are exercising, improving your health and saving time and money. You can check second-hand shop bikes or avail of the Bike to Work Scheme.
Check Dublin Cycling for more cycling and safety advice as well as participation in cycling promoting campaigns. Journey Planner is a great website offering a bike and foot route planner.
Environmental benefits of using e-scooters should be met with skepticism unless longer product lifetimes, reduced materials burdens and reduced distribution impacts are achieved. However, they are still a better option than driving a car.
Public transportation use is one of the most effective actions individuals can take to conserve energy. By eliminating one car and taking public transportation instead of driving, 30% of carbon dioxide emissions can be saved.
Check Transport for Ireland for route planning and more information. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has commenced the procurement process for up to 800 double-deck battery electric buses as part of a shift towards greater sustainability in public transport.
A single economy flight can represent more than 10% of an average person’s annual carbon footprint. Until fully sustainable flights are available, you should try to limit your flying. Consider less carbon intensive means of travelling such as ferries and trains. Use websites like Seat 61 to check out your options to plan your trip.
When travelling for work, ask your employer to allow more time for travel when using more sustainable means. Your environmental impact will be reduced and you can often work effectively on your journey.
You should avoid quick flights for the weekend (hen and stag dos, birthdays, etc.), instead tie them to longer holidays.
Offset Carbon Emissions
This is a great way to compensate for the impact that your flights have. You can offset flights and other emissions by giving something back to the environment. You can do that by actively supporting projects that are improving our environment. For example: VITA is a website which calculates your carbon footprint and offsets it by supporting life-transforming programmes in Africa.
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