Green Travel Tips
- Environmental Sustainability
Greener Driving and Cars
There are several ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint and save yourself some money at the same time, through more thoughtful use of your car.
This refers to a method of driving your car more efficiently, which increases the miles you can travel on a given amount of fuel. These techniques are explained at DirectGov's Eco Driving Tips and could save you the equivalent of one month's fuel a year.
Some cars will display fuel economy data, if yours does not you can calculate your fuel economy yourself and see if eco driving really works.
It is also good sense to prepare before your journey. Check there are no roadworks or delays on your route and use a journey planner to avoid getting lost as this could result in unnecessary idling or extra miles.
Car sharing can often be the most cost effective way of travelling, especially in rural areas. You don't have to sign up to a formal network to car share, it can be as simple as giving your friends or neighbours a lift. Car Share Norfolk is a database of journeys being made in Norfolk, sign up to be matched with other drivers going the same way as you.
You could also use a 'pay-as-you-go' car by becoming a member of the Norfolk Car Club.
Choosing the most fuel-efficient car in its class could save you up to 25% on fuel costs every year, and will also reduce the amount you have to pay on road tax. The following sites will help you to research which cars are most efficient and how much you could have to pay to run the car:
- DirectGov guidance on buying an efficient car
- Vehicle Tax information
- Vehicle Certification Agency Fuel Consumption data tables
Some alternative fuels can be cheaper and emit less CO2 when combusted. For more information see the Energy Saving Trust's fuel information page. Existing users of alternative fuels are able to search for LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) filling stations in Norfolk or Biodiesel filling stations, and electric car users can also view a list of electric car charging points in the UK.
Alternative Modes of Transport
Many journeys currently made by car could be made by other means, such as by bus, train, walking or cycling. Choosing to make these journeys by a means other than by private car has many benefits including improved health and fitness, saving money, less congestion on the roads, better air quality and fewer transport related CO2 emissions.
Transport Direct is a government funded travel planning site. You can specify your start and destination and it will tell you how to get there by walking and public transport. You can also find more information at Norfolk County Council's transport information page.
Cycling and Walking
Cycling and walking are excellent ways to get fit, reduce emissions and enjoy your local environment. It can be satisfying, fun and cheap but always make sure that you are safe.
- Norfolk County Council provides cycle maps so you can plan a quick and safe route.
- Sustrans is the leading charity encouraging cycling, you can find cycle routes, events and other general information on their website.
- Cycling England are an independent, expert body, working to get more people cycling, more safely, more often. The Cycling England website contains a wide variety of news and information relating to cycling.
- Always make sure you cycle safely by following the Government's Cycle Safety Advice and be aware of the Highway Code rules for cyclists.
- BikeBUDi aims to encourage cycling by matching individuals with others making the same journeys. It is not just for experienced cyclists but also for those who may not feel confident to cycle on their own at first.
- Similarly, WalkBUDi aims to encourage walking by matching individuals with others walking the same way so they can walk together. It can be used for regular trips such as walking to the office or station as well as occasional trips such as going out at night or even if you want to find others going off for a weekend ramble.
If you have to travel further afield, public transport could be a great alternative to going by car. There are many websites which allow you to plan all aspects of your journey, and even save money for instance by pre-booking rail tickets. Transport direct will even provide you with the carbon footprint of your mode of travel compared to that of a car journey.