Thanks and congratulations to all of you who took part in the first month of the OSOF Sustainability Challenge. And welcome to February! This month’s challenge takes place on our streets…
February goal: Drive Less!
All across Aotearoa, February is Bike Month. So this time around, it’s all about transportation. How do you get to work? To school? To the store? To the beach? We all know that sustainable transport is an important component of a sustainable planet, and yet so many of us continue to drive. In fact, the Ministry of Transport Household Travel Survey (2015-2018) reported that we spend 83% of our time travelling as a driver or passenger in a car or a van.
So for the month of February, find a way to reduce your travel emissions (and therefore overall carbon emissions). Biking isn’t an option for everyone, and sustainable transport isn’t limited to bikes alone. Take the bus, lace up your shoes and walk or find a carpool buddy. Every little bit counts!
The national Go by Bike Day happens across the regions in February. If you do nothing else this month, ride a bike on this day! Bike shops and organisations around the country will be sponsoring bike-in breakfasts and other events – check your local activities calendar to see if something is happening near you.
How to participate:
Choose the level below that works for you, and don’t forget to upload a picture of yourself going by bike, bus, train, skateboard, scooter, carpool, or foot! Include the hashtag #OSOFSustainableMe and #OurSeasOurFuture, and we will feature you on our Instagram feed and Facebook Page/s.
Beginner: Go car-free at least one day per week. Don’t just decide to stay home once a week, either! Instead, pick a day that you would normally drive, then seek out an alternative that works for you and practice it.
Intermediate: How about a car-free week? Alternatively, you could go car-free for at least half of the car trips you would normally take that are less than 5km.
Advanced: Don’t drive for any trips under 5km for the month of February. Or you could try going the entire month without driving or riding in a car.
How does it help?
Private vehicles contribute greatly to global warming. It’s estimated between 12-20% of total greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicle travel. And global warming is harmful for our oceans in many different ways from ocean acidification to increasing temperatures to altering ocean currents.
And it’s not just the oceans that are directly affected. People are too. A 2012 Health and Pollution in NZ report estimated that vehicle emissions in Aotearoa contribute to social costs of $4.28 billion per year and cause 1175 premature deaths annually. If that’s not a reason to park the car and figure out an alternate way to get to work a few days each week, what is?
Join Aotearoa’s Bike Challenge
Find someone to carpool with
Haven’t ridden your bike in a while? Give it a tune-up!
Biking to work for beginners
Learn how to select a safe route and/or use the bike directions feature on Google maps
Check out this biking campaign from Malmo, Sweden that aimed to eliminate ‘ridiculous car trips’ under 5 km.