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Transport – Green In The City

29 September, 2010

In light of the growing environmental crisis many people are heading for a “tree change” (a move to the country). Some believe it’s the best way to tread more gently on the planet. For some of us, though, moving away from the city or suburbia are not feasible for us given our occupations, personalities or support networks. Believe it or not, it is possible to be GREEN in the city.

City living affords us wonderful opportunities to tread lightly on the planet that aren’t available to our country cousins. Every capital and major city in Australia has a decent public transport network. There are buses, trains, trams, monorails, taxis and an assortment of other options to get us around town.

Public transport has been maligned in the media for lack of reliability and, of late, overcrowding. Public transport has huge advantages over driving, above and beyond the cost savings, given petrol prices at the moment. Public transport uses less than half the fuel, per person and about 10% of the smog producing gases (including carbon monoxide) than using a car.

However, if public transport is not your thing, there are many other options available to city dwellers. Living in a city means that you are quite close to just about any good or service you can imagine, as well as your place of work. For many trips walking or using a bike or scooter could be an alternative to the five-minute trip in the car. “Granny trolleys” are becoming quite popular now, and groceries can be home delivered from many major supermarkets. For the time poor, there is also online shopping.

If you decide to do away with a car altogether there are several options. While taxis have been the traditional go-to when a car was needed there are now car sharing companies operating in both Sydney and Melbourne (as well as in other locations around the world) where a monthly fee is paid, and cars are hired for a minimal hourly rate as required, saving the hassle of registration, insurance and the like, as well as keeping hundreds of cars off the road.

For commuting to work or other places you gather with others (hobby groups, sports, church) a car pool may be an option. You could halve the emissions produced, just by sharing the driving with one other person, instead of each driving your own cars. There are websites such as http://www.sydneycarpool.com and http://www.carpoolaustralia.com which can link you up with others coming from and going to a similar location to you, or there may be someone from your workplace you could share the driving with.

So, if you live in the city, take up the challenge and make use of the abundant options we have for greener transportation.

This article originally appeared in Mixtapezine

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