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Walking and Your Carbon Footprint

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 19 Jul 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Carboncounted Carbon Footprint Co2

Walking. It’s the most carbon-friendly form of transportation pushing absolutely no CO2 into the atmosphere. True, it’s not as fast as a car, or even a bicycle, but for most of the time man has been on the planet, it’s been our main way of moving from A to B.

Why Walk?
Walking is a good method of heading towards carbon neutrality; although that’s a goal none of us can completely reach in our lives. But it’s much more than that. It’s a way of being healthy. According to the doctors, a half hour of exercise every day is what we should all be having, and walking is the perfect way to do it. Unlike the gym, it costs nothing, and unlike cycling, you’re not on the road and close to cars.

It can be walking to work, walking to the shops and back, anything you like. Before there were so many cars on the road, it was commonplace for our mothers to walk with the shopping, and we’re discovering that perhaps the old ways might have been the best after all. Certainly they didn’t destroy the planet the way we have been lately.

The great beauty is that almost everyone can take advantage of walking. It requires no special skills and no licence.

Back On Your Feet
We’ve become lazy, used to driving everywhere. Most of our journeys, the vast majority in fact, are short, less than two miles. That’s just 40 minutes on foot (we average about three miles an hour when we walk), enough for the recommended exercise and to get shopping done.

The more we keep our cars off the road, the better it is for the environment. You can start by deciding just to use your car every other day and walk alternate days. It’s a beginning and everything makes a difference.

Try it for a fortnight and you’ll discover that you feel a lot better and that you have more energy. You might not have saved a lot of CO2 in that time, but over the course of a year it mounts up.

Getting Free Of Your Car
No one’s going to suggest you sell your car. But the more you walk the stronger you become, and you might well be inclined to use your car only for longer and more necessary trips. If more of us do that, then together we do make a difference.

To lower your carbon footprint takes effort, and means a slightly slower pace of life.How much you save, of course, depends entirely on how much you eliminate your car. But let’s say you have a Fiat Punto and drive 15,000 kilometres a year. Your carbon footprint from the car is 2,040 kilos. If you can substitute walking for a third of that distance over a year, it’ll cut your emissions by almost 700 kilos, which is a significant figure. That’s certainly a feasible figure, too; it simply means cutting out those short trips to the shops.

Yes, it takes an effort of will not to just hop in the car, and it requires planning your time. But it certainly can be done.

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