Here is an amazing clip from CBS on what rushhour looks like in the Netherlands. I only saw one car!
Posts Tagged ‘carbon footprints’
Cityhop co-founder, Victoria Carter has a kereru that visits her bird bath each evening. “To see this magnificent native wood pigeon land on the edge of the bird bath is the most extraordinary sight,” she says.
“We live right on a main road but our garden is full of the most amazing bird life despite having a dog. Lucy dog has learned the morning bread thrown on the lawn is out of bounds!
The photo of the pigeon on the birdbath isn’t the best photo I’ve ever taken but proof adds Victoria! The first time it appeared we were so surprised but since then it comes back most nights for a drink!
But there’s more!
“Our garden is full of tui’s diving, squawking and chasing eachother, and we have the usual array of other birds, grey doves, sparrows, thrushes, and many more.
On Saturday I was having a coffee with a friend and to our amazement there was a rustle of wings in our magnolias and suddenly the majestic wood pigeon arrived on the bird bath and suddenly with another flourish of wings a second arrived and promptly sat in the water bathing itself!
My first thought was get a camera, where’s my phone, but they were inside and I didn’t want to frighten them off. They were startled by something else and flew into our neighbour’s frangipani tree and sucked the flower’s necter.
We felt so priviliged to be watching this amazing bird life on a main road!
People all over the world are recognising the damage driving their cars is doing to the environment. Car share addresses this significant environmental issue and results in reduced carbon emissions from less driving. The transport sector accounts for nearly 20 per cent of green house gas emissions and these gases are dominated by carbon dioxide from fuel combustion.
New Zealand has to acknowledge the impact car ownership is doing to the planet. 88 % of emissions are from cars on the road. And its not trucks doing this- domestic transport is the largest source of CO 2 emissions.
We love our cars – according to Sustainable Living we have 60 of them for every 100 people in the population. Two thirds of us still drive to work. Why? One theory is that despite petrol edging up to $2.00 a litre car travel is still relatively under-priced and over-consumed in relation to the damage we are doing to the environment.
Most of us have tripled the miles that we drive in the past 20 years. We have become a lot more mobile but it’s at a cost.
Communauto, the Canadian car share co-operative has calculated that every car in car share is replacing 8 individually owned cars. Their average members, and there are 17,000 in Montreal, reduces their average distance driven by 2,900 kilometres. That means a reduction of 1.2 tonnes of greenhouse gases , on average, per member, reports a story in the Montreal Gazette.
Zipcar, the US car share company did a survey on their customer base, and discovered that:
- Car usage of individual members is reduced by as much as 50%.
- Members reported a 47% increase in public transportation usage, a 10% increase in bicycle usage and a 26% increase in walking trips.
The other big advantage from car sharing at $15 an hour and not owning is the money saved. On average car share members are reported to save around $6000 a year from car share rather than owning. You don’t have the car payments, maintenance, costs, repairs,registration, insurance, parking costs and so on.
Think about it? Are you ready for a green move that frees up your wallet too?
There has been a lot in the papers about emissions trading, climate pollution, debate about what NZ can afford and what it might cost to agree to the Kyoto protocols.
What about if every individual, or even just 100, were to sign on to cut our own climate pollution by 20 % ( four times what the Aussie government wants people to do by 2020).
Aussie, Bathhurst Burr in a blog in the Fifth Estate has some great ideas to consider. Whether you believe in climate change or not, many of his suggestions will still benefit the local economy and improve our environment.
He starts with food and says the bulk of our climate and resource pollution comes from how we grow, buy, eat and waste good food. Instead of meat every day, try to eat red meat and chicken just 2-3 days a week. Fish is also good as long as its local. Try only to buy food grown locally and within 100 kms of your place and buy what is in season.
Travel is another large comtributor to climate pollution. He recommends you join a car share company. Cityhop is one example. Car share users drive less, use public transport more and tend to walk more.
Houses are another culprit. Replace your hot water cylinder, ( if you can with a gas or solar system) or if you are building, get gas or solar hot water system.
IF all this sounds to hard you could spend $100 a month investing in growing soil on carbon farms to take all your pollution out of the air or planting trees. Of course there will still be other people’s pollution – the jet setting politicians, gi-normous fridges, ‘sustainability’ consultants jetting around the place to climate change conferences where they can argue whether the climate is in fact changing!
Anyway cityhop thought the best part of his blog is this food for thought:
“Spending time on yourself, what you buy, how you eat and travel so you cut your own pollution by 20 per cent in the next month.
Worth a try, don’t you think?
What if more of us made our own greenhouse cuts should we have to contribute to emissions trading?
How to cut 20 per cent greenhouse gases from your total:
Buy most, preferably all, fruit and vegies from local markets, local farmers = ~ 2- 5 per cent
Plant a lime or lemon tree at your house or unit = ~ 0.5 per cent
Plant a lime or lemon tree in the street near your house or unit or office = ~ 0.5 per cent
Ask your councillors to have your local council buy only local fruit and vegies = ~ 2-5 per cent
Only eat red meat from local farmers two days a week= ~ 10-15 per cent
- fairly easy in New Zealand!
Travel by car share car and no car = ~ 2 per cent
Walk and no car = ~ 3 per cent
Solar hot water = ~ 5 per cent
NOTE: look at the size of the savings, not so much the specific numbers as the variations in diets, where you live and how you buy food make it too hard to be precise with the numbers
We like it and will be thinking about how we can do more of these savings.
Regardless of the impact on the climate if more of us bought locally it would encourage more people to grow their own veges. We’d get more food stalls. With so many farmer’s markets cropping up it’s not hard to buy local produce. And that is a tangible start 2 to 5 %. Add a change to your transportation and you really do make a difference to your wallet and your environment.
Worth thinking about!
Instead of all the in your face blood, guts and gore New Zealand Land Transport advertisements that try to it seems unsuccessfully to get drivers not to drink, or speed how about this kind of amazing ad.
This is how the Sussex Council in the UK reminded people to wear a seatbelt.
Cityhop reckons its far more memorable than the ads that make you feel sick! It reminds you so effectively of the people you are going to leave behind and hurt if you were in an accident. Very powerful.
What do you think?
Getting the perfect gift for your friends and family at Christmas requires a lot of thinking about what each person is interested in. Victoria Carter, CEO of car share company, Cityhop offers some ideas. We liked the range of practical and not so practical ideas to make the planet a cleaner, greener place! We’re not sure how many people would thank you for this but they will never forget the year you bought them some carbon credits! Go to Terrapass, buy some carbon credits and give them to your friends and family. Tell them you are so committed to changing thinking you want them to have these carbon credits. They will never forget your gift but it might get them thinking!
Number 2 green gift – give a worm farm. A bit more pricey but oh so practical and with so many people getting into gardens these days it makes great fertiliser for the garden. Much easier to maintain than a compost and great way to use up all your kitchen vege and fruit scraps. Number 3 green gift – here’s a practical present and probably the most cost effective. Make your own pomanders – scent bags to put amongst your wardrobe and stop moths. Buy some velvet or cloth bags ( try the Warehouse or Spotlight) and get some handcrafted soaps proudly made in NZ. We bought from Lizzie Bee some heavenly cinnamon and clove soaps that we unwrapped and popped into the bags. Average price $5 –the look & feel is triple that!
Number 4 green gift – depending on your budget get a plastic, terracotta or smarter pot; fill with soil and pop some lettuce seedlings into it (The Warehouse has 3 punnets of 6 plants for $10. Again for around $15 you can give a useful and handy gift that after the lettuces have been eaten can have another life. No one ever turned down a small freshly planted herb garden either if the lettuces look too pathetic in time for Christmas!
Finally, the most sustainable green gift has to be a cityhop car share membership. For $75 you can join someone up to the cityhop club with cars in
Now if we haven’t given you enough ideas, go to the greenlist for a directory of
Transport produces some of the worst numbers in terms of carbon footprints and results in serious environmental destruction. Ironically by making different transport choices you can reduce pollution, congestion, improve health and fitness, save money, reduce accidents and create a more sustainable city.
Acrual car numbers outnumber drivers in America. We’re not far behind per capita with our high numbers of cars and drivers. So given transport produces nearly a quarter of greenhouse gases what can we do individually? Here’s a list of 10 ideas.
1. Plan better – ask yourself do I really need to make this trip? Is there an alternative mode? That is what cityhop members do!
2. Could you walk? It’s amazing how much really is within walking distance of your house. Not only will you get your errands done but you’ll be doing your body a favour. People who bike or walk more are often less stressed and happier than those who drive!
3. What about car share? Do you really need more than 1 car in your household? Could you get by with one car and get a car share membership for those trips when you really need a car? You’ll save money, see cityhop
4. Buy a cleaner car – no not less dirty – but look for a smaller engine, perhaps a hybrid, at least one with low fuel consumption.
5. What about a manual car? They use less fuel and put less pressure on the brakes which means fewer particulates going into the air and waterways, the fish will thank you!
6. Slow down! Not only does it save fuel it’s safer! Aggressive driving will only get you to your destination a few minutes quicker! Is it worth it?
7. Keep your tyres inflated to the right pressure and keep your car serviced regularly – it saves fuel and lengthens the life of your car.
8. Travel light – Do you really need to carry your golf clubs, and all the other junk in your boot? What about your roof rack? Take it off until you need it. This will conserve fuel.
9. Start slowly and anticipate stops – yes you might feel like a granny but if we all did not only would the roads be safer, you won’t waste fuel or waste your brakes which means less pollution.
10. How about going car free one day? Try the bus, the train or see if someone from your office lives nearby so you can slowly start to change your habits.
Finally, if you have to have a car buy the most fuel efficient model you can afford, practice some of the eco-driving tips, and when you can think about having a car less day!