Carbon Fast For Local Transport – How Am I Doing?

So, how am I going on my carbon fast?Metro map - Sunshine Coast - part

Pretty well, I think.

My first big challenge is to reduce emissions from my travel.  I am aiming to avoid all use of private petroleum-driven motor vehicles.  That will help me to reduce my greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution, and reduce my environmental footprint.

So far I’ve managed to avoid driving my car except on a few occasions that were pretty unavoidable because of the way our public transport works in Canberra.

The first time, I needed to make the journey across town to get something I couldn’t get anywhere else…on a weekend. I could get there by two buses but the connection misses by 3 minutes, which would mean a 57 minute wait at the bus interchange. Now, I can cope with that…but I have a teenager, a rather impatient teenager who can’t…and it was not worth my emotional health to travel other than by car. And at least it was a pretty long, hilly trip of nearly 15km.  (I’ve written before about the challenges we sometimes face trying to travel by public transport in Australia.)

In contrast, my trip on another weekday to the same place – via a third suburb in a completely different direction – was accomplished by public transport without any hiccup. 🙂

Another (weekend) day I managed to get to my farmers market after church…by bus – No mean feat! First time ever! – and get all the way back, including a long wait for the bus at the other end. 🙂

And that wait’s great…because waiting for buses – and riding on them – is how I get to do a lot of my reading.;)

I happened to stop off at a cafe near to where I was waiting for the bus. I read my book, shopping at my side, handbag safely stowed between my chair and the wall beside me. I got home, took my daughter to an appointment…and then discovered that I had left my handbag in the cafe.

What to do? I could spend the rest of the day going and getting my handbag…but, as it was Sunday, I decided that my time would be better spent driving – via a friend’s place to do an activity with them – and taking my yoga class (which I had previously decided to miss because there are no buses at the time the class ends at 6:30.

A third occasion, entailed getting just to the next suburb…by two buses that again don’t connect…or trying to walk or cycle up a steep hill and get across a major intersection that is a daunting and dangerous undertaking, especially without pedestrian or cycle facilities along the whole route. And we only had very limited time…so that trip was taken by car too.  And, as luck would have it, we unexpectedly had to make an almost identical trip the very next day. 🙁

But, apart from those few times, I’ve been getting everywhere by bus, bike or foot. 🙂

A couple of days ago I rode further than I’ve ridden in years. (20 to be exact!)  I hadn’t intended to ride quite so far, but helping out a friend meant I missed the once-an-hour weekend buses I needed to get to my destination…so, as it was a lovely day and probably within my cycling limit, I decided to hop on my bike.  When I got home, I wasn’t as tired as I thought I might be.  Instead, I felt fantastic!

During my travels on foot, as well as enjoying the physical activity and scenery, I’ve been making good use of my time.  I have been letterboxing and talking to relevant home-owners to let them know about Solar Citizens, a community project bringing together existing and future solar owners to ensure the rights of solar owners are protected and to help expand rooftop solar power in Australia.  Over the last week I have also been participating in Walk In Her Shoes challenge to help raise money to empower women and girls lift themselves out of poverty.   So, not only have I been getting places in an Earth-friendly manner, but I have been building communities to make the world a better place! 🙂

And an extra bonus to all this non-car travel?  I’ve been getting much fitter and losing weight…which makes me feel fantastic!  And I’m feeling empowered because I’ve discovered some new ways I can make a small, personal contribution to reducing climate change. 🙂

How are you going at travelling more sustainably? Just leave your comments in the Reply box below…or send me a voice message by clicking on the tab on the right.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!

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