Road to nowhere South Africa

Our ever moving society depends largely on non renewable resources and pollutes our environment in many ways. But here, too, we have choices and can change our consumer behavior in order to support sustainable solutions.

Car Sharing

By joining a Car Share, you let someone else deal with the day to day expenses of maintaining an automobile and just pay for what you use. Car Sharing companies are gaining in popularity as consumers look to ways to save money and the environment. By using a car share, you're not only shedding monthly car payments, taxes, insurance and upkeep, but you simply pay a fee and drive the car you need, when you need it.

By maximizing the utilization of a single automobile among many users, car sharing services are helping to reduce pollution, too. In average, cars are not used 23 hours a day, unnecessarily blocking space in cities. Every single Car Sharing vehicle removes about 10 personal cars from the road as well as saving the user around US$ 2000 per year. Unclogging traffic and dialing back the amount of single-occupant vehicles burning fuel also has a greening effect. If Car Sharing is used more widely, less cars will have to be produced. Before a car even hits the road, around 15 tons of CO2 and the energy of 5000 litres of oil are used in production. All this would be saved. 

The Car Share Companies aim to be convenient, easy, and technologically savvy. Far more streamlined than an old-school rental car, they makes getting the use of an automobile about as easy as making a withdrawal from an ATM. The concept of car sharing had its genesis in Europe and has spread to the North American market as interest in frugality and environmental consciousness has increased.

The first step to using it is signing up (rates vary). As a member, you'll get an electronic card which allows you to reserve a vehicle near you via the company's website or from the phone. Once you've reserved a car (or truck - the beauty of car sharing services is that you can get a big car when you need it, not when you don't), a technology unlocks the doors when you walk near your vehicle. Cars are located all over metro areas and can be left at designated parking areas when you're done.

Here you find general information about car sharing, including lists of operators:

www.carsharing.net

The Homepage of Zipcar, the biggest provider in the US and UK:

www.zipcar.com

Responsible holidays

Nowadays there are eco hotels and resorts in almost every destination and price class. By choosing an eco resort over a normal one you can support the local community and avoid destruction and depletion of the local environment. It’s a much better vacation with a clean conscience!
Good Eco resorts commit to:

  • avoiding extra garbage such as plastic bottles, plastic straws and single-use items
  • use of energy saving electronic devices and recycling paper
  • strict division of waste, organic waste, paper, plastic etc.
  • avoiding chemical detergents
  • treating the sewage with wastewater gardens where possible
  • responsible material in the office
  • offering home grown organic produce as meals
  • supporting local projects for the protection of the environment, educate and engage the local communities and youth and support local handicraft and cultural heritage

These websites are a resource for finding your perfect destination worldwide:

www.eco-resorts.com
www.eco-tropicalresorts.com
www.yourtravelchoice.org
www.ecotourism.org

Take the bike

Every time you leave your car and take the bike instead to hit the town you make a little contribution to sparing the planet some toxic CO2. As an additional benefit starting your day on the bike is delightfully refreshing. Public bikes are available in many big cities as Berlin, Munich, Brussels, Helsinki, Vienna, Barcelona, Paris and London- what better way to see a city than on a bike!

Carpooling

Often many colleagues drive nearly the same way to the office in separate cars. Why not joining together and save money, CO2 and have more fun?

SUV or Smart

If driving a car is not avoidable, you can still make a big difference with the type of car you buy. Is there really a need for an SUV or a Jeep in the city? Small cars nowadays offer a lot of space, security and fun.

Railway instead of flying

Every time you travel by train instead of flying, you save a significant amount of Co2. Plus, the more passengers there are in a train, the more energy-efficient it is.

We have planted trees to compensate the Co2 for our flights that were inevitable for our project. Every time it is possible, we travel by train, bus or ship. By the way, in my last job, I (Carsten) had to fly around 150 hours per year. For our trip, we both fly only about 2/3 of that.

Right pressure

Make your car run as efficiently as possible by having it tuned regularly and making sure the tires aren't underinflated.

Frequent Flyer


When flying, try to offset your carbon footprint, for example here:

The Carbon Neutral Company

Terrapass

FEE donation