The pandemic has taught us very important lessons.
Firstly, take care of your health. We often take our health for granted and give into our sedentary lifestyles leading us to health complications which during the pandemic really tested us to our limits.
Secondly, our environment. How important is oxygen to us and how fragile we are in front of our environment was brought out to us in such harsh reality. The combined forces of the worlds military or intelligence could not stop the invisible virus and death and destruction caused by it.
Thirdly, while we win the battles, the war is far from over. Getting our industry back to life will also be a critical action and some industries over others had to bear the brunt. Travel and tourism is one such industry which has hurt us deep. While we love to travel, we were helpless as this industry broke down completely in front of us.
With the above 3 important understandings, here is a point of view which I am totally convinced will help us individually and collectively our community and our world.
Once this is all over, we hit the Road again and start travelling but this time try “Active Travel”.
So what is Active Travel?
Active Travel is a concept whereby we adopt more means of travel that helps reduce carbon footprint. In simple English, travel using non-motorized modes where possible, like walking, cycling or running and where necessary to drive, try eco-drive or offset our bike or car travel with some physical activity at the destination like Hiking, Mountain Biking, sunrise and sunset walks etc. “Active Travel” imbibed in our daily lives or during our business or leisure travels can help reduce pollution, clean our environment while keeping us physically and mentally active and healthy.
(Below infographic from “Gear Change – UK’s bold vison for cycling and walking)
Last July, UK announced a bold decision to make UK an “Active Travel Nation.” Boris Johnson announced a 2.0 Billion GBP or 2.85 Billion USD package to make cycling and walking a priority active travel mode in the UK. UK aims to be a carbon neutral nation by 2050.
“Carbon Neutral “simply means offsetting our carbon releasing sources with carbon sinking ones. Ex. moving from thermal power stations to wind power. Moving from petrol cars to batter operated ones, etc.
Travel but Be Active During your Travel
As transportation is a big contributor to pollution, Active Travel can be our individual contribution to help fight pollution and climate change and in the process, improve our heath too. If we can forsake our cars and bikes for short journeys with cycling or walking, we not only loose weight and feel fitter, we also save time. Isn’t it true we take more time finding a parking space then we would actually take by walking or cycling it, if we could?
As we open up the world post the vaccination, let us not forget the lessons, let us not go back to the maze of the same mistakes. Let us make a change. When we start to travel again for business and leisure, let us keep a mind to “Active Travel” and remember the lessons our heath scares, our oxygen needs and our fragmented industry and loss of jobs taught us.
Let us wish we can start our travel soon and more importantly Active Travel, as soon as possible. I have started mine; others, please join in.
To share your views or ideas on “Active Travel” please write to me –firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a “sustainable travel hierarchy”. This is a useful tool to help you think about improving the impact of your journeys. The higher up the hierarchy, the more sustainable and greener the travel option. (source – energy saving trust, UK.)