Man has lived as nomads in the beginning of time. Our ancestors lived from one place to another depending on where they can find food and shelter for a while. But as they became more adept at living in this world and more familiar with the different resources around them, they started building homes to be their permanent dwelling. They no longer needed to jump from one place to the other in search of food but only forage for the day and return home before the day ends.
That’s probably the earliest history of how transportation came to be. When man started living in permanent shelters, they only went out for a while and needed to come back home before night falls. That’s the life we live these days. We go from one place to the other in our pursuit of life but we can’t do it on foot like our ancestors did. We ride contraptions of sort albeit not always in style. But because of threats of climate change, we can no longer put off looking for ways to realize a sustainable means of transportation because our planet is hurting more than ever.
The significant barrier to sustainable transportation options is cost, particularly if your business operates a fleet of vehicles or relies on complex logistics.
One lesson we’ve learned is to avoid all-or-nothing propositions before taking action.
Even if your business isn’t addressing 100 per cent of your transportation emissions, it’s important to celebrate and communicate the action you are taking.
Why? Consumers want to know what companies are doing in a transparent manner. Consumers aren’t looking for perfection, but they do want to see progress. This can be achieved by:
Making incremental investments in sustainable transportation. For example, add an EV charging station at your property or consider a green fuel alternative for part of a fleet or a flagship vehicle.
Encouraging employees to take greener forms of transportation by providing cycling infrastructure, such as an in-office bike rack or subsidies for purchasing bicycles.
Sustainability is a journey. Communicating a narrative of incremental, measurable improvement is how to build a reputation for authentic, thoughtful action on sustainability.
The important thing here is that we start doing something to address many of the energy and pollution issues we face daily. Climate change is no joke and we are already suffering from its wrath every time a disaster strikes. We don’t want to suffer under the heat of the sun by covering the distance of our destinations on foot but there sure are other ways to reduce our energy usage and carbon footprint without going to these extremes.
Making changes to your daily habits can be difficult, and though the fair weather is calling you outside to walk or bike to your next class, shift, or appointment, there may be some obstacles you face in making it happen.
Community Shifting Gears, Peterborough’s month-long transportation challenge, hopes to help you overcome those obstacles by providing workshops, resources, and prizes this May. When you sign up, you will become part of the on-line Shifting Gears community, receiving tips and incentives that will support and motivate your shift to more active and sustainable transportation options.
Support from the community doesn’t solely come from the on-line challenge. Many workplaces, schools, and groups are finding creative new ways to support the shift with innovative programs, infrastructure, and policy.
Do your body and health some good while at the same time contributing for the betterment of society.
“There is evidence that active transportation increases physical activity, improves mental health, reduces vehicle-related injuries and deaths, reduces air pollution, and can reduce health inequity,” says Kate Dunford, Public Health Nurse at Peterborough Public Health, “Supporting the move towards active travel within our organization helps us reach these goals in our community.”
Nothing is impossible if you are passionate about something. While the odds may be big considering how dependent we are on fossil fuel in powering different industries and even the vehicles we ride each day, simple lifestyle changes can have a big impact on the environment. Carpooling is a favorite of many for years but using electric vehicles can also help reduce fuel consumption and the consequential carbon emission from their use. Employees and students who live near their workplaces or schools can walk, ride the bike or take public transport, so as not to exacerbate the situation. Sustainable transportation may even be possible in the next few years if the governments of all nations collaborate in coming up with various sustainable transportation solutions for everyone.