Eco Tips of the Month – Transportation

Eco Tips - Transportation

Travel Green!

A new set of eco tips is published every month by the St. Andrews Eco Congregation group. They aim to raise environmental awareness among the members of our congregation. This month, the topic is transportation. 

I deliberately and consciously bought a house at walking distance from my job (the public broadcasting company) twenty-three years ago, and went to work walking most of the time from then on. Mia and I decided to do away with one of our two small cars and in doing so we were motivated by economy and ecology. When we speak about changing our personal lifestyle, there are so many options and small things we can do concerning transportation. Surely we can all do something.

We can for instance:

1. Not buy a car
2. Use public transportation including train, metro, bus, tram
3. Or even take a taxi occasionally (less pollution than when you drive all of the time);
4. Buy a bike
5. Rent a VILLO bike
6. Car-pool
7. Share a car (Cambio system in Brussels)
8. Buy a hybrid car and use it responsibly, moderately, share it, repair it
9. We can, of course, taking into account practical circumstances and our personal budget, combine the different options above;
10. We can take the train across Europe instead of a plane, this is a far more responsible way of traveling ecologically speaking. Plane fares are abnormally low because the companies don’t pay taxes on kerosene. They are rewarded to pollute more by the authorities, sadly.
11. Finally, we can also… WALK some of the distances we have to cover. Every time we have to get somewhere, we can take into account the ecological impact of that journey. Which one is the fastest way to get there? What are the alternatives? Do I have time to choose a slower but more responsible way, less violent and destructive for the environment? Do I want to make this and other sacrifices? Am I willing to take some hardship, to give up some comfort?

I think the choices we make have a lot to do with egoism and greed. A church like ours is the ideal place to reflect about and take part in personal transformation, isn’t it?

– John Van Vreckem