Why an alternative route is better for your health and the planet

Posted on 20th August 2018 by Bryan Duncan

Getting from A to B can be as easy as 1,2,3 with the convenience of a car. The numbers get complicated however when considering the environment. When you drive your car, you’re emitting an estimated half a kg CO2 into the atmosphere every mile you drive.

Meanwhile a litre of petrol creates about 2.3 kg of CO2 emissions. That’s not to mention the amount of money spent on fuel, plus the time spent in traffic. It then becomes less a simple formula of A to B, and more a horrendous algebra equation.

Luckily, there are alternative routes of transport that reduce your carbon footprint as well as improving your personal well-being. Hopping on a train can cut emissions by half, and walking to work helps too. Your carbon footprint reduces by 86kg a year if you make five journeys of under 2km a week on foot, rather than car.

If your calves are up for it, cycling to work can save 1.3 tonnes of CO2 if you ride 10 km a week instead of driving. For short journeys, this is greener than driving a large chunk of metal when your destination is practically at your feet.

There are lots of health benefits too. Walking, for example, increases your stamina and results in a healthier heart, plus it allows you time to catch up on your favourite podcasts or music! Walking at a brisk pace for 10 minutes counts towards your 150 minutes weekly exercise (to determine what a ‘brisk’ walk is,you can still talk, but can’t sing words!).

You might end up catching the walking bug – if you fancy it, Greener Kirkcaldy hold a lunchtime walk on the first Monday of every month. Or if you want to take up cycling, why not take part in Greener Kirkcaldy’s basic cycle training, or join a led ride. See their events page for upcoming dates.

Not sure where to start? Put your journey details into Greener Kirkcaldy’s personalised route planner, for a better idea of routes available for different modes of transport, calories burned and CO2 emitted.

So if you like to feel better mentally and physically, while saving the planet, it’s worthwhile searching out another route!

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