Tuesday, 25 October 2011

These boots are made for walking

The U.K. government website says
In the UK, more carbon dioxide (CO2) comes from people’s car travel than from any other kind of UK transport. Reducing your car travel is a key step to reducing climate change effects and local air pollution.
Nearly a quarter of all car trips are under two miles, a distance you can cycle in less than 15 minutes. Cycling and walking distances under two miles could help you get fitter and save you money in fuel. 
 The two mile rule is commonly used to separate journeys which should never use cars and those which it's OK to drive for. According to Google Maps my work place is 2.4 miles away by car and 1.9 miles away if I walk so I'm just under the key limit. It takes me 40-45 minutes to walk to work which I don't mind if it's an eight hour shift but if I'm just going to the gym (which is on the same site) for an hour I spend more time getting there than the activity. Now, I know it's ridiculous to drive to a gym when you can walk it (you're going for the exercise!), but a 45 minute walk on dark rainy streets just doesn't seem as appealing as working out comfortably inside on a treadmill with a TV attached. I am trying thought.

Next week I have three early shifts and I'm going to walk them all, at least I won't have to work as hard at the gym. Walking rather than driving also means I get to know my local area better. I read the street signs (best one I've see yet is Penguin Street) and look at local shops. I notice the weather more, appreciating the sun when it's there and really feeling the change in seasons. I'm not saying it feels better than the 10 minute drive and the extra 30 minutes in bed but I am feeling more connected to the place I live and less in a bubble of one.

Cycling to work would take a lot less time and it's something I mean to do in the future. Over the summer I was given a second hand old bike which needs a lot of TLC before it's ridable but once pay day comes I'll be kitting it out ready for the winter months-anything to give me 5 more minutes sleep when I'm working earlies!

Almost everyone is used to having a car nowadays. Living in the countryside you think of hiking and nice walks but I find it much easier to avoid car journeys now I'm in a city than I did before. A 45 minute walk to the next village seems easier to justify the car for than one across town to the gym. We're lucky that we don't need the car for any essentials very often. My boyfriend can walk to work (and is much better at it than me!) and we have small shops close by that we can walk to for essentials. The veg box gets delivered when we need it and we only have to use the car for long journeys to visit family or for a big monthly supermarket shop for bulk buying essentials like tinned food, pasta and rice. I'm begging to get addicted to the smug feeling when you can see the fuel gauge in the car is still about the quarter tank mark, weeks after first filling up, but as the winter creeps in I'm worried my will power won't last. I'll just have to make sure my boots are ready for lots of walking and see it as an extra gym session.

Which green habits do you find hardest to stick to and what does the change in seasons mean for your weekly routine? I'd love to hear from you so just post a message below!

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