Earth week is here again. This year’s April 22, which marks Earth Day worldwide, is a bit more significant — it also marks one year since the Paris Climate Change Agreement opened for signature on the same date last year.
Over 130 countries signed the agreement including Malaysia. The agreement, which takes effect in 2020, sets out a global action plan to arrest dangerous climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global average temperature increase to below 2 °C.
At Motion Digest Network, Earth Day is close to our hearts as advocates of sustainable urban mobility. And you can play your part to reduce carbon dioxide emissions too, as a way to show you care for future generations.
Ditch Your Car Keys
The easiest way is to ditch your keys and leave your car at home. Pledge to commute in a green way this week. There may be incentives for greener commute around your neighbourhood such as the free-ride programme by Bloomington Transit on April 22.
Otherwise, you might enter city-wide programs or go to act.earthday.org to pledge a new commute option that day. You may also want to pledge a larger goal, such as commuting in a different way 2 to 3 times a week.
There are plenty of alternatives. Take a bus, subway or other public form of
transportation. Check in advance to see if public transportation prices are lower on Earth Day, a subsidy often provided by local governments.
The savings are real: every person taking a 32 km roundtrip commute via public transport reduces daily carbon emissions by about 2.17 tonnes a year.
For Selangor and Klang Valley residents, you may want to check out theide free shuttle bus services in several municipalities.
You may need to leave a little earlier to take the bus or subway to work. Depending upon where you live, it could take 30 minutes to an hour longer.
Other options you can consider also include cycling. You may even want to use pedelec bicycles if you don’t feel like sweating too much. Don’t have a bike? Try bike sharing services such as LinkBike- Bike Sharing Services in Penang and Public Bike Share. Or for students in the local public universities, try to get hold of an electric bicycle, which was launched recently under the “SER1M” program.
If distance means you have to use a car anyway, another good alternative is to go electric
for the week. For example, you may want to consider renting from electric car-sharing service provider COMOS or using an electric scooter by Eclimo.
Of course, not all of us live and work within range of these services. Some of us just cannot escape using a fossil fuel-powered vehicle.
In this case, carpooling is the way to go — your company may even offer incentives to encourage carpooling and it can be easily organised within a community of neighbourhood.
Alternatively, ride-sharing services such as UberPOOL, GrabShare and RidingPink are also a great way to commute a little bit greener this week by reducing the number of vehicles on the road.
Last but not Least
Overall, not only does a greener commute contribute to improving air quality, it also leads to less traffic congestion by having fewer cars on the road. Consuming less fuel also means savings.
And not being in a traffic congestion also improves your health, especially if you can walk instead to your destination (a 1km walk only takes about 15 minutes or so).