Sustainable Living | 16th Jun, 2014

5 ideas to help you drive less

Ever been stuck in peak-hour traffic? Most people would gladly take back frustrating hours wasted in a slow moving car.

Cars can be the easiest way to get from A to B, but they are not the greatest form of transport for the planet, or often your mental and physical health.

Here’s some easy suggestions on how you can drive less.

1. Car pool or car share

Sharing the trip with others heading in the same direction not only saves fuel – it also reduces your greenhouse emissions. If you can’t find people to car share with, check out one of the many car pooling websites. If you live in inner city Melbourne, another great option is joining a car share scheme. Car share cars are parked in set locations and available for use by the hour. Compared to owning your own car (and paying for registration, repairs, petrol and insurance) they can save both money and hassles. There are a couple of car share companies in Melbourne, and we’re happy to have one of them as an Environment Victoria affiliate.

2. Ride your bike

You can get a cheap second hand bike through bike shops, websites and newspapers. Riding your bike also keeps you fit, without needing to spend money or time at the gym.

3. Catch public transport

You can make it cheaper by buying tickets in bulk. A 5 x Weekend Daily ticket is a particularly good bargain. It lets you go anywhere in zone 1 and 2 for $3 a day. Tickets are available from stations and ticket windows, over the internet and from shops that sell Metcards. Check out the PTV website for timetables and maps.

4. Walk

This has got to be the most enjoyable way to get around. Try strolling to the local shops a couple of times a week for your groceries, instead of driving to the supermarket for the mega-shop.

5. Get your kids to school without a car

Many schools now have Walking Bus programs that you can get involved in. Or else, get them to ride or walk to school on their own or with you or other parents. (You can take turns supervising them).