Cool the Globe
Walk ~ Cycle ~Catch the Bus ~Carpool
Are you a cool Commuter?
Commuting by car for work, school, shopping and personal travel accounts for 1/3 of an average household's greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions contribute to air pollution, global warming and climate change.
By taking up more sustainable transport options such as walking, cycling, catching public transport and carpooling our communities will be greener healthier, safer and more vibrant places to be.
By using your car less, or at least more efficiently, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve your health and fitness, increase road safety and save money.
The Cool Communters Map highlights sustainable transport facilities and services for walking, cycling or catching the bus for those short local trips. Pick up your free copy from Ballina Shire Council's Administration Centre or download here.
Leave the car at home
The average household produces around 6 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and spends $8,000 a year on transport. Of this $2,500 is spent on fuel alone.
Many trips less than three kilometres can be replaced by walking or cycling. Active commuting by cycling and walking regularly can decresase mortality and reduce the likelihood of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Why not combine the need for exercise with the need to commute to work or study and save yourself money in the process!
Ballina has a great network of pathways that can be used for recreational walking and cycling as well as commuting to work or school. Pick up a free copy of the Ballina Pathways Map from the Council Administration Centre or download here.
Catch the Bus
Taking the bus can reduce driving stress and sve you the hassle of trying to find a car park.
Changing how you travel to work or study just once a week does make a difference!
Live too far from work to walk, cycle or catch the bus? Try carpooling! Carpooling can save you money, help reduce driving stress and be an enjoyable social activity.
Travelling alone in a car produces around 300 grams of greenhouse gas per kilometre. You can halve these emissions simply by sharing the car trip with another passenger.
A carpool is simply two or more people sharing a ride together in a common vehicle. Typically this involves two to three co-workers or people from the same community driving together, rather than commuting in their individual cars.
Look into setting up a carpooling network in your workplace to help staff find suitable carpooling matches. Check out the Ecarpool website www.nrcarpool.org and sign up to this free and easy to use service.
Use less fuel
Every litre of petrol saved cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5kg. The average Australian car uses one litre of petrol to travel nine kilometres. By driving efficiently when you make those essential car trips, you will use less fuel, save money and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions!
- Vehicle Choice: When buying a new car consider the size of vehicle you need and visit www.greenhouse.gov.au to help you find out about it's fuel type and efficiency.
- Vehicle Maintenance: Save fuel wasted through engine inefficiency and poor maintenance by regularly servicing your vehicle.
- Check your tyres: Save up to 100kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year, extend tyre life and improve on road safety by keeping tyres pumped up to the maximum recommended pressure.
- Drive Smoothly and Efficiently: Drive Smoothly and Efficiently: Accelerate gently and maintain constant speeds to save up to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Switch of the engine when your vehicle is stationary.
Ballina Shire Council is actively encouraging people living and working in Ballina Shire to take up more sustainable options for travel to work and study through its Cool Commuters Project. This project aims to increase community awareness about the benefits of walking, cycling, carpooling and catching the bus to reduce our carbon footprint, increase activity and improve road safety.
Council has now produced a number of resources and incentives to help other organisations in Ballina Shire promote more sustainable transport options for travelling to work and school. They include:
Cool Commuter Transport Access guides highlight local transport services and facilities such as bus services and routes, the pathway network, pedestrian crossings and bicycle parking facilities in Ballina Shires main towns and villages. The Maps also indicate educational institutions, child care centres, retail precincts, places of interest, local services and recreational facilities. These Maps can be used by individuals to find a walking, cycling or bus route to local facilities and services or by organisations waiting to promote greener travel to their workplace for staff and patrons.
Click here to open the Ballina Transport Access Guide.
Click here to open the Alstonville, Wollongbar, Wardell Transport Access Guide.
Click here to open the Lennox Head, Skennars Head Transport Access Guide
Cool Commuter Stickers can be used as incentive prizes for those staff that do cool commute regularly or on special days such as ride or walk to work days and Walk Safely to School Day.
A poster entitled Are you a Cool Commuter? promotes walking, cycling, carpooling and catching the bus. These posters can be displayed in workplaces and schools to promote more sustainable travel options to work or study. Link to poster
The Cool Commuters Commitment Project aims to help local organisations encourage their staff to reduce their carbon footprint, get active and take up the cool commuting challenge of committing to at least two less drive alone trips per week. In return for this commitment Ballina Shire Council is providing participants with a free pedometer, drink bottle, safety vest, bike bell or travel mug. Individuals over 18 years of age that live or work in the Ballina Shire are invited to participate in the project.
Council is interested in hearing from organisations willing to nominate a staff member to be a Workplace Coordinator to help promote the Cool Commuters Commitment Project. Contact Council's Project Officer Climate Action on telephone 6686 1284 Tuesday - Thursday if you would like more of these resources, or if your workplace would like to participate in the Cool Commuters Commitment Project.
Click here for a link to the Sustainable Transport In Ballina Shire Report based on the findings of a community travel survey conducted in 2007.
For more information contact Ballina Shire Council on telephone 6686 1284.
This project has been assisted by the NSW Government through its Climate Grants Program