Lifestyle

Eco Church Lifestyle ideas for May

Transport

Every time we travel we leave an eco-footprint.

These past few weeks due to lockdown we have all had to reduce our travel whilst this has affected our lifestyles adversely it has helped the planet. Cities have changed dramatically with air quality massively improved both at home and globally in places like India and China.

I feel lockdown is a good time to review how and why we travel and the impact on the planet.

Walking and cycling have minimal impact but if people throw litter and trample crops and destroy soil and habitats by not keeping on path or overuse this can adversely affect the planet.

Car journeys pollute by our carbon generation through burning fossil fuels but also nitrogen dioxide and particulates which affect people’s lungs and are responsible for thousands of deaths in the UK every year. There is also pollution from manufacturing and at the end of the car’s life. During lockdown consider how and when and why we use our cars and try and see if more eco-friendly alternatives are applicable. There is also evidence that how we drive and car maintenance can affect emissions, e.g. smooth driving tyres pumped to the correct tyre pressure. When buying a new car consider fuel efficiency/ hybrids or electric but be aware – electric cars have lithium batteries which are hard to recycle and use natural resources to make.

Bus and train journeys may be less polluting and we could reflect on our use of these.

Air travel is the most polluting travel although the pandemic may affect our flying for some time; but if there are less people on a flight due to social distancing the carbon footprint of each traveller will be increased.

The pandemic has made us look at what is an essential journey and maybe this is an opportunity to review our travel in the future. I am a keyworker and pre-pandemic I would use a tank of petrol every 2 weeks – now it is lasting 5 weeks.

You could also access the carbon footprint calculator at www.footprint.wwf.org.uk