Travelling

Change how you travel

Why?

68% of all car journeys taken across the UK are under 5 miles (and 23% are under 1 mile) and transport is one of the largest contributors to Devon’s carbon footprint. If we just had just one car free day every week, we could save over £120 a year on petrol bills and around 300 kilograms of CO2 emissions as well.

Man riding bicycle with surfboard attached. Field and sunset in background.
Photo Credit: Chris Bennet. Active travel, active hobbies.

How?

Cycle more

Cycling is a fun, free and fast way to travel from A to B, and there is loads of advice on Travel Devon.

Lots of bicycles parked in a bike rack.
Photo Credit: Kit Harbottle.

Walk more

Check out Travel Devon’s advice about how to incorporate more walking into your daily routine.

Public Transport

Visit Travel Devon to plan your trip by public transport.

Reduce your flights

Why?

Aviation is the fastest growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions at a time when we desperately need to reduce them. Although aviation currently makes up less than 5% of global emissions, this is because most people have never been on an aeroplane; the same people who will be hit first and hardest by climate breakdown.

For those who can afford it, flying can make up the single largest part of their carbon footprints. A return long-haul flight is roughly equivalent to driving for a year or eating a meat-heavy diet. Even if you take other measures to be environmentally friendly, one flight can wipe out those savings.

How?

If you used to fly for pleasure, why not try a staycation this year, check out this article for some inspiration. Or take a trip by train or ferry – both of which have substantially lower footprints than a flight. Have a look at this Man in Seat 61 blog for holidays by train.

If you normally travel for work, can it be done via a teleconferencing meeting instead?

Driving

We appreciate there will be times when you must use your car, but there are ways to make that more sustainable.

Eco driving

Why?

The UK’s Driving Standards Agency proved that by driving smoothly, avoiding sharp acceleration and heavy braking, fuel consumption can be improved by over 8%. For the average Devon household that’s an extra 1,000 miles for free. And we could also reduce CO2 emissions by over 120,000 tonnes per year.

How?

Remove the roof rack, avoid short journeys, stick to the speed limits and keep your tyres at the correct pressure. Drive smoothly and gently, avoiding hard braking or acceleration and stick to the speed limits. For more information, check out this useful guide from the AA.

Car share

Why?

Did you know that a commuter can typically save around £1,000 a year by car-sharing? Car sharing is a great way of alleviating the stress caused by travel and reducing road and parking congestion.

Liftshare has found that by sharing regular car journeys rather than travelling alone, you can cut your carbon footprint by over 10% a year. To date, Liftshare’s members have saved 154, 584 tonnes of CO2. That’s the equivalent of removing over 33,000 cars off the road for a year

How?

Check out liftshare for a national car sharing scheme. Or try the Pasty Connection or Car Share Devon to share your commute with those in the SW.

Buy an EV

Why?

Plug-in electric vehicles (also known as electric cars or EVs) are connected, fun, and practical.  They can reduce emissions and even save you money.

EVs also reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage. Charging your EV on renewable energy such as solar or wind minimizes these emissions even more.

How?

Read this guide about which EV from Autocar or have a read of this article from ZapMap which covers some of the common questions about charging away from home.

Photo Credit: Carine Silver. “Food and miles” (Electric charging point overshadowed by organic potato and sweetcorn harvest)