Smart Consumption in the Mediterranean

» Transport

Keep this in mind!

We go from one place to another for work, certain leisure activities, to go shopping, to travel, etc. It is a basic, inevitable need and we need different forms of transport to meet it. The way we move about will depend a great deal on each person’s individual circumstances, but there is no doubt that we can introduce a lot of changes so that it has less impact on the environment and other people.

Today cars are the form of transport used most for everyday transport, while planes are used most for long-distance travel. Both have a serious impact on environmental and social problems as well as climate change.

Some questions we can ask ourselves:

1

Do I travel more than necessary?

Why do I need to use my car for any activity outside the home? Can I avoid this at all? Is my journey a means to an end or an end in itself (e.g. driving around because I’m bored)?

When we are choosing the place where we live or work, for leisure activities and socialising or for household shopping, we should try to ensure that they are as near to each other as possible. We should avoid using our cars out of habit.

2

If I do have to go somewhere, can I use collective or shared transport?

Can I go by bus, train or another collective form of transport? Could I share a car between home and work? Are there any schemes for hiring cars or bikes nearby?

Whenever we share journeys with others, the impact is reduced, so collective transport is the best option. Schemes for sharing and hiring cars and bikes are also a good choice.

3

If I need my own car, can I obtain a second-hand vehicle so that new resources are not used?

If I have to buy a new car, what company should I give my money to? Do I really need a new car? Are the renewal schemes for new cars really better for the environment?

Environmentally speaking, it is only justifiable to replace an old car with a new, more efficient one when it is between 20 and 22 years old. We should make second-hand cars our first choice, and, if we buy a new car, opt for electric or hybrid cars or those using biofuel. Second-hand bikes are readily available at very reasonable prices.

4

In all cases, maintenance is fundamental to lengthen the life of your vehicle.

The manufacture of a car has great environmental impact, so the more we can extend its life, the better. The way you drive is important: efficient driving minimises fuel consumption and general wear and tear on the vehicle.