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Is Your Community Travel Energy Aware?

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 2 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Energy Energy Saving Travel Transport

Being aware of the real environmental and economic cost of travel is a potentially important way to save energy . That doesn’t, of course, mean that you shouldn’t ever go anywhere or do anything, but it does mean that with a little bit of thought, changing our transport habits can have a major effect on our overall energy consumption and help us drive our carbon footprint down. Magnify up the savings that every individual makes and that soon becomes a significant source of serious energy saving on a community-wide basis.

So, is your community travel energy aware? Work your way through the following dozen simple questions, work out your own neighbourhood’s score and find out!

Although there are points for each answer, there’s no “right” or “wrong” response; the final score is only intended to give a general idea of the community’s attitude to travel and the local conditions that affect it – so have fun!

    1. Which best describes your community’s location?

    • a) Rural/remote
    • b) Village
    • c) Town/city

    2. How good is public transport?

    • a) Regular buses / good rail links
    • b) Few buses / no local station
    • c) Don’t know

    3. Is there a car pool in your community?

    • a) Yes
    • b) No
    • c) We have an informal arrangement of sharing lifts.

    4. Do you often see supermarket vans delivering to your community?

    • a) Sometimes
    • b) All the time
    • c) No, never

    5. How do most kids get to school?

    • a) In their own parent’s car.
    • b) In a car full of other kids.
    • c) Walking or cycling.

    6. If you go on a school/club/community trip, do you:

    • a) Hire a bus or minibus?
    • b) Arrange car sharing or joint taxis?
    • c) Mostly travel in separate cars?

    7. How do most people in your community shop for food?

    • a) Drive to out of town supermarkets.
    • b) Buy locally as much as possible.
    • c) Online and use delivery services.

    8. Where do most people in your community go for their holidays?

    • a) Long haul destinations
    • b) European resorts
    • c) British resorts

    9. Are there any allotments in your area?

    • a) Yes – and a long waiting list to get one!
    • b) No – but most people grow their own vegetables at home anyway
    • c) No; there’s no call for them.

    10. Do many people use the cycle-ways and footpaths?

    • a) Hardly anyone ever does.
    • b) Yes, all the time.
    • c) Yes, but mostly only when the weather’s good.

    11. Has your community ever held a campaign for any transport related issue?

    • a) Yes, once
    • b) Yes – often
    • c) No, not at all

    12. How often do you hear the likes of food miles, eco-driving or carbon offsets being talked about in your community?

    • a) Often
    • b) Occasionally
    • c) Seldom

    Scores

    1. (a)3 (b)2 (c)1
    2. (a)2 (b)3 (c)1
    3. (a)3 (b)1 (c)2
    4. (a)2 (b)3 (c)1
    5. (a)1 (b)2 (c)3
    6. (a)3 (b)2 (c)1
    7. (a)1 (b)3 (c)2
    8. (a)1 (b)2 (c)3
    9. (a)3 (b)3 (c)1
    10. (a)1 (b)3 (c)2
    11. (a)2 (b)3 (c)1
    12. (a)3 (b)2 (c)1

    24 points and over

    It sounds as if your community is very focused on its transport needs and as a group, you’re certainly doing your bit to drive down the collective carbon footprint of your travel. You seem to have most of the bases covered and by the look of things, you’re a pretty organised bunch. Whether energy saving is a new community activity, or an old established one, you’ve certainly nailed this aspect of it! If you bring the same level of dedication to the rest of your energy-saving quest, you simply can’t fail!

    14 – 23 points

    You certainly seem to be aware of the travel energy issue, but perhaps it isn’t a particular focus at the moment for your group. Even so, what you are doing is making a good contribution to your overall community’s energy saving and, if you do all decide to make transport a particular priority, then you have already made a great start that you can build on later.

    Under 14 points

    Saving travel energy doesn’t seem to be a big priority for your community at the moment, whether that’s because there isn’t much scope to make it so, or there are other issues that are more pressing right now. The good news is that if and when you do chose to focus on this issue, there are a number of things that you can do fairly quickly that will bring some pretty instant results – and when that time comes, you don’t need to look further than this site for plenty of helpful suggestions!

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