In Brighton and Hove there are over 27,000 car journeys made every day by people travelling less than three miles, which is crazy when you consider it only takes 20 minutes to cycle that far at a leisurely pace.
Greenhouse gas emissions from road transport make up one fifth of the country's total emissions, so there are huge gains to be made by being a bit more thoughtful about getting from A to B. Of course, it's not always practical to leave the car at home, especially if you have a flock of children and a small mountain of luggage following you everywhere. But there are plenty of ways to make a difference.
Things you can do to make getting around greener:
For short trips, cycling is a great way of getting around, and it helps keep you fit and healthy to. You can even get up to 50% off the price of a new bike with the government's Bike 2 Work scheme. Cranks is a DIY Bike Workshop in Brighton which helps you to fix your bike and offers cheap recycled bikes for sale.
Brighton and Hove has a brilliant bus service which is often quicker and easier than driving through traffic and playing the parking game.
Cheap deals of fares available online at www.buses.co.uk.
There's also the independently run biofuel powered Big Lemon service.
Visit www.journeyon.co.uk which offers travel information for Brighton & Hove.
Journey On has real time bus and traffic information plus their unique journey planner you can plan a route across the city and work out the time, cost, carbon emissions and even the number of calories you'll burn along the way.
- If you are driving, you can save up to 10% on your fuel bill and on emissions by driving in a smarter, more efficient way. Small things like checking your tyre pressure can make a big difference.
- Or why don't share yours or someone else's car? On catch a ride, a free UK car journey sharing website, you can register as a driver or passenger to share petrol costs, make friends and go green!
- The train service in and out of the city is also good, although sometimes expensive you can book early on thetrainline.com for cheaper fares.
- Getting to Europe on Eurostar has never been easier or more comfortable, and creates a tenth of the greenhouse gas emissions as flying.
- Once in Europe, pretend it's the nineties and get an Interrail pass, allowing a months travel across a number of different countries. Alternatively, the inimitable Man in Seat 61 can help you get from here to Australia without ever going near a runway.
What about flying?
Flying is a contentious issue. It is the fastest growing cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, and until recently a terribly inneficient way of getting around. But the new Boeing A380 - a behemoth of the sky weighing in at 420 tonnes - allegedly (and with some disagreement) works out as more fuel efficient per passenger as the latest hybrid cars. Remember though, there's not many of these in service compared to the older, less efficient models.
The big deal is the sheer number of people jetting round the planet. While there isn't really much of a choice if you've got two weeks and want to go to Australia, getting to Manchester or Paris is both quicker and more environmentally friendly on the train. Friends of the Earth says a moving all domestic flights to train journeys could save up to 362,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The big issue really comes down to price. It's still often cheaper to fly than to take the train, and that's really an issue you need to grapple with yourself.
What about carbon offsetting?
Another contentious issue and a largely unregulated industry, many believe that simply moving responsibility from one place to another doesn't negate our own responsibility. Check the government's quality assurance scheme before handing over any money.