Reducing car usage to reduce our carbon footprint

cycling-to-reduce-carbon-footprintOh Man, talk about testing me TO MY LIMIT!

Small Footprints has challenged us to something for this week’s ‘Change the World Wednesday‘ that I was dreading coming up…

She’s asking us to replace at least one car trip with a bicycle or walking trip in order to reduce our carbon footprint and live a more sustainable life.


it’s not that I won’t, but I’m not sure that I *can*.

Where I live we have a local village post office and general grocery store. The store is ok for the odd pint of milk (although I usually ask my neighbour for a loan!) or a lemon or an onion if I don’t have one to hand.

I’m a firm supporter of my local Post Office; after all, if you don’t use it, you might lose it…

Apart from that, all my car trips take me out of the village, further afield. The two ends of our village open out onto busy “A” roads which really aren’t safe for walking or cycling. Think arctic lorries, narrow roads and wild sheep and horses running through forests.

Also, I’m a bit under the weather this week. Little Miss green has had some kind of cough for over a month and this mama is starting to feel worn down. Just going out in the evening to get the rabbit some greens is enough for me.

So you know, for the first time, I don’t think I can take part.

What I CAN do, however, is really ask myself if I NEED to take the car out. I’ve been known to fancy a DVD rental, a takeaway for ease or Mr Green has had a beer craving and we’ve driven to satisfy those requirements. Not good huhn?

So this week we’ll be extra careful at separating our wants from our needs. Mind you, with two of us not feeling great and more likely to want to huddle infront of the fire, it should’t be too difficult…

What about you – is there a car trip you could replace with bicycles or foot?


  1. Small Footprints on September 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Aww … I’m so sorry that you and little Miss Green are feeling poorly. Autumn colds (and general puniness) are miserable! Perhaps some hot tea, healing soup and TLC (can Mr. Green play “Florence Nightingale and take care of you two??).

    Many people are saying that walking or riding a bike isn’t possible and I was thinking that another possibility is to do exactly what you’re suggesting … rather than replacing a trip, just eliminate a trip that really isn’t necessary. And I love your attitude of what you can do rather than what you can’t. Just imagine what would happen if we all adopted that lovely mindset!

    Feel better, you two lovelies!

  2. Mrs Green on September 30, 2011 at 6:37 am

    @Small Footprints: Thank you! We’re on the mend; you wouldn’t believe the weather here – we’re having a sunny heat wave; honestly it’s hot in shorts and t-shirts, so we’ve been soaking up the rays and some of mother nature’s healing 🙂

  3. Zoey @ Good Googs on October 1, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I know that persistent cough well, parenting sick munchkins is hard work!

    We live in an area where you pretty much have to drive everywhere, but at least I squeeze myself and the two kids into a very small, very fuel efficient car!

  4. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking on October 1, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    So sorry to hear that you all haven’t been feeling well but glad to hear you’re feeling better! I love taking the challenges at Small Footprints each week also but we live so far out of town that it really would be hard for us to walk to town and back. We don’t any bikes but we are doing like you and really watching the trips we do make.

  5. Gaby @ Tmuffin on October 3, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Doesn’t it stink that our cities and roads aren’t designed to share traffic with bikes? It’s like that in our town too. No shoulders on the roads, and speed limits of 55 mph in areas that could really stand to be 35 mph. It scares me to ride my bike.

    What I do though is lump my errands together. So on the day I drop my diapers off at the service, I go to the garden store across the street and the natural food coop on the same road. It’s all on the way.

    When I go to Costco, I also go to Target and the fabric store because they are all next to each other.

    And I try to hole myself up in my house one day a week. It not only saves gas, it saves my sanity!

  6. Mrs Green on October 8, 2011 at 8:11 am

    @Zoey @ Good Googs: Good for you Zoey; a small efficient car is a great compromise.

    @Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking: I think only making essential trips is all you can do if you live in a rural environment…

    @Gaby @ Tmuffin: I believe we’ve just increased the speed limit to 80 over here! Yes I agree, wouldn’t it be great if alongside every road were safe places to walk / cycle / scoot…