Travelling is an inherent part of life. People travel for a holiday, work, shops, cinemas, and friends. Food, building materials, clothing, electronics, and much more constantly travel too. Not surprisingly, transport is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. In Poland, this sector accounts for about 24% of total emissions. A large share of this figure is accounted for by passenger transport. According to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), there are already 747 vehicles per 1 000 Poles, which places us fifth in the European Union.
The way we travel our day-to-day distances, for example, to work, school, the shop, the cinema, and friends, is often one of the most significant climate decisions we make daily.
If our goal is to reduce emissions, the fastest way is cycling
At TerGo, we have calculated exactly how much greenhouse gas emissions can be saved by cycling instead of driving in a single journey. An eight-kilometre journey saves 2.12 kg of CO2, a five-kilometre 1.32 kg, and a two-kilometre about 0.5 kg. Assuming a one-way trip of 8 kilometres to the office, choosing to cycle, even if only once a week, saves nearly 17 kg of CO2 per month. Annually, that’s more than 200 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions per person! If we chose to cycle to work daily, individually, more than a tonne of CO2 emissions could be saved annually!
The potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from personal travel is therefore high. These opportunities are carefully identified and studied by experts. As a result, cycling is one of the flywheels of the idea of sustainable transport. The question of how this can impact the climate was recently discussed at the 2nd United Nations (UN) Global Sustainable Transport Conference.
At this conference, the promotion of cycling was identified as an essential tool in efforts to achieve global climate neutrality alongside electric cars powered by renewable energy, sustainable air travel, and zero-emission ships. And while it’s a super cool list, there’s no denying that a bicycle is the most affordable among these. It is accessible to many people, considering the need for short-distance daily travel and the financial aspect. Unless, of course, you travel to work across a bay!
Does anyone still need to be convinced to ride a bike? If yes, think back to being stuck in traffic jams or parking outside, e.g. the town hall, just when you need to do something quickly. It is simple – the more people change to bicycles, the fewer traffic jams there will be. Circling around or driving slowly generates additional CO2 emissions. And you can even carry a bike into the office if you have to! Would you try it with a car?
If you want to know exactly how much greenhouse gas emissions you can save by choosing a bike instead of a car, sign up for the TerGo newsletter. You’ll get an email as soon as we launch our carbon footprint calculator! This is a very accurate tool that allows you to really take matters into your own hands and take a direction towards decelerating your emissions.