To drive or to walk?

Oh, I am demotivated.

Someone please tell me how to simplify the calculation of carbon-footprint using life-cycle method.

I bought a pedometer (an instrument which counts the number of steps taken, but not so accurately if it is bought at £3) the other day (I think that was a few weeks ago) – with the aim of motivating me to walk more. Basically, I am too lazy to do any other form of exercise – seriously I don’t have much time for Pilates either, lately. I read somewhere in Manchester University website that 10 000 steps per day will boost your fitness, so there goes my walking regime. Another motivating factor would be my ‘green conscience’, but then I came across this article:


ALTHOUGH IT MAY seem like one of the more eco-beneficial things to do, walking to the shops has been proven to be worse for the environment than taking the car.

Chris Goodall, author of How to Live a Low Carbon Life, has calculated the carbon emission totals for taking the car as opposed to walking, and has found that walking actually comes out as the less eco-friendly option. With the production of food proving incredibly energy-intensive, more carbon is produced when creating the energy needed to walk as opposed to taking a car the same distance.

Goodall started his investigation by looking at the energy used for beef production. He states, ‘Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles adds about 0.9 kg of CO2 to the atmosphere. If you walked instead, it would use about 180 calories. You’d need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.’

Goodall adds, ‘The troubling fact is that taking a lot of exercise and then eating a bit more food is not good for the global atmosphere. Eating less and driving to save energy would be better.’

With news that paper bags are worse for the environment than plastic because of the extra energy needed to manufacture them, many supposed eco-facts have been proved incorrect.

To keep down your carbon footprint, Goodall advises to avoid the supermarkets and try to get as much local produce in your diet as possible. (6 August 2007)

Tuesday 7 August 2007

My question: Is the same calculation valid for Stagecoach bus? Which one is greener – riding a Stagecoach bus (which efficiency is unknown) or walking to the North Campus?.

Oh, I should add another motivating factor: The not-so-punctual Stagecoach bus no 50. I’d rather walk if I have 25 minutes. Waiting for the bus to come proved to be too risky.


One comment

  1. Haha.

    Walking is the best way to keep fit, especially if you’re not into fast-paced stuffs like running.

    I’m moving into a residence hall next semester and don’t have to walk as much. Now I’m scared. Hopefully the early resolution to be a regular at the school gym won’t dissolved as easily.


    Miss your writing la, kak. Write more, please =>

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