You need to get yourself, possibly your family of young children, an elderly relative, maybe a dog, from here to there. You don’t want it to be prohibitively expensive, you don’t want to have to wait around in the rain or lug heavy bags a long way.
A car was the answer! Everybody got one, and then two, even three!
Then you begin to fall out with your neighbours over parking. The cost of running a car goes up by the day. You are getting unfit because you drive everywhere, so you consider a bicycle. The roads are too dangerous because they are full of cars. You think about the bus, but they are costly, infrequent and often unreliable or non-existent in rural areas.
Depending on your car means depending on oil, mainly from other countries. The news is full of the trouble and deadly conflict caused by arguments over who controls these fuel resources. You hear of the vast areas of pollution surrounding extraction sites.
Always the price you pay for fuel rises, and a disruption of supplies brings your entire lifestyle to a stop – this is not resilient!
We are addicted to the use of oil. It will not be easy to cut back, but it must be done. Local initiatives are the key to encouraging government and business to get involved. They will not do so without public pressure, both political and by the use of your spending power.
Change is happening slowly, but it needs more people to engage with the process. Here’s a couple of good places to start.
The Urban Walking route planner gives you a route map between any two points, including your journey time, calorie burn, step count and carbon saving. It’s quick, free, healthy and green!
Sustrans is a charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day. They work with families, communities, policy-makers and partner organisations so that people are able to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys, with better places and spaces to move through and live in.
© Elizabeth J Walker 2014