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Greener ways of getting around

ecobirmingham are here to help you take steps to live a greener lifestyle. Let’s talk about transport.

Air pollution is a big problem in Birmingham and transport is its largest source. Transforming the transport system is currently of high priority for Birmingham City Council and initiatives such as Car Free School Streets and (love it or loathe it) the Clean Air Zone are being implemented. But what can you as an individual do to make travelling more environmentally friendly, benefit your health and help you save some pennies too?

 

Cycling and walking

The best way to both decrease your carbon footprint and increase your own (and others) health from travel is to cycle or walk rather than drive (also known as Active Travel). The benefits include:

  • Decrease in air pollution.
  • Health – cleaner air, increased physical activity, which can reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Increase the amount of calories burned during the day, helping you shift those last few pounds you’ve been struggling to lose! This calculator provides a rough calculation of the calories burned by cycling compared to other forms of transport.
  • Saving money – you can save hundreds of pounds per year through reduced fuel costs. This calculator will give you a rough estimate of money saved by commuting by bike rather than car.

Worried about traffic on the roads? There are plenty of traffic free routes across the city, many taking in miles of beautiful parks and canals – you can read about many of Birmingham’s options on our Rides & Routes page.
 

Driving

As we move towards a car free society, there are lots of ways to reduce or change the way we drive:

  • Car share – share your journey with friends or join up with others – BlaBlaCar and Liftshare can help you connect with others.
  • Join a Car Sharing Club. Co-Wheels works out of South Birmingham.

 

Public transport

Rail and buses emit the least amount of greenhouse gases in the transport sector, and with more people traveling in the same vehicle compared to private cars, the air pollutant emissions will also decrease.

 

Flying?

Aviation is the second biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the transport sector and according to WWF, just one short haul return flight can account for 10% of your yearly carbon emissions. Why not try a holiday closer to home or include train travel as part of your trip? The Man in Seat 61 is a fantastic resource for those who want to travel the globe by train. You can calculate the amount of carbon you produce by flying here.

 

Looking to make steps towards a green(er) future? Found this article useful?

We’re working on a new project aiming to inspire and help households make greener choices in their lives. Please help us identify what would help you by filling in our (very) short survey here.

Together we can make Birmingham a greener and healthier place to live. Donations from people like you are essential to ensure we can continue our important work across the city. Find out how you can help us tackle the big environmental issues in Birmingham here.