Something's Got to Change
Well, it's all change here at the Gate Church Carbon Saving Project.
We have always used an electric van for our pick-ups and deliveries, but now we have gone electric in our personal journeys too.
Between us, we have bought two electric bikes and an electric car.
Now, these are very considered purchases - and we must point out that one of the bikes was bought second-hand - and we are well aware that not everyone is able to make this change yet. Goodness, we have been thinking about it for years and have only just taken the plunge.
But even if you are not able to switch from diesel to electric - or abandon your car altogether - there are changes you can make.
You might consider
driving in a more fuel efficient manner
Figures from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy show that transport is the biggest polluting sector in the UK, accounting for 28% of pollution and that, while greenhouse gas generally are falling, this sector has up until now seen little improvement.
While we would never have wished for the coronavirus pandemic, it has been interesting to note that carbon dioxide emissions have fallen dramatically since lockdowns were imposed around the world with daily emissions of the greenhouse gas plunging 17% compared with this time last year.
Another recent UK report shows that air pollution is currently lower than normal in cities because vehicles are idling less in queues. Nitrogen dioxide levels, which are largely driven by diesel engines were 30% below pre-lockdown level at the end of last month, despite HGV traffic being at 95% of usual levels, vans at 90% and cars at 75%.
These results indicate that a small reduction in traffic leads to a significant decline in pollution because there is less congestion.
Maybe now is the time to re-consider your means of transport?
Just think, if you cut out one ten minute car journey a week that's over 500 car minutes a year saved.
If it's not far, leave the car.
Cycling is a great option, giving you a better quality of life, a better level of fitness and helping to keep Scotland cleaner and greener. We love being able to cycle that bit farther on the electric bike, but you're maybe quite happy cycling under your own steam. If you are thinking about an e-bike, you might want to check sites like Gumtree first - there are many excellent second-hand bikes out there looking for a new home.
If you would like to know more about cycling here in Dundee, have a look at the Pandemic Pedal Power series that the Courier recently ran. They spoke to everyone from local cyclists to international urban design experts.