To Cycle Or Walk? Travel Green In Ramadan
We're all going to be attending daily Tarawih prayers in Ramadan but have we considered the greener travel options? There are many w...
There are many ways you can become more environmentally friendly within your home in Ramadan: watching how much water you’re wasting, taking care to monitor your energy consumption, having your roof and walls insulated. It’s also important that you take your commitment to eco-issues with you when you leave the house too.
There are now several eco-friendly schools, eco-friendly Mosques, eco-friendly libraries. But what about how you get to those places? How can you make your travel journeys more environmentally friendly?
Leave Your Car At Home
The bigger your car, the bigger the carbon footprint it will leave when you drive it. But regardless of which car you are driving, it will leave a much larger carbon footprint than taking public transport, especially if you’re travelling alone.
Road transport accounts for 10% of the nation’s carbon footprint, and private cars are responsible for the bulk of these emissions. So you can immediately green up your act by taking public transport. Bus and tram, train and London Underground: There are so many public transport options here in the UK.
Safety tips: Remember the advice from the British Transport Police that when you’re travelling on public transport to keep your bag zipped up, so that you don’t expose your belongings to pick-pockets or other thieves. Protect your mobile phone and other gadgets by ensuring that you’re insured if they are lost or stolen, and keep anything expensive that you’re carrying, such as your purse or a laptop, out of sight so that they don’t tempt anyone with bad intentions.
Get on Your Bike!
For shorter and more local trips to the masjid or shops, why not avoid motorised travel altogether, and get on your bike instead. Bike riding is good exercise and a lot of fun, especially in the summer when the sun is shining. Riding a bike is the most environmentally friendly mode of transport.
You should only choose to ride a bike on the road if you are an experienced bike rider. Every year approximately 300,000 children go to Accident and Emergency with minor injuries as a result of riding their bikes, so it’s important to stay bike safe. Wear a bike helmet every time you ride your bike (no matter how short the journey) to minimise the risk of head injury.
Ensure that your bike is road worthy (that the frame is in good condition and the tyres have enough air) and don’t listen to music or talk on your phone whilst you’re riding your bike as this can distract you from focusing on the road ahead.
If you’d like to ride a bike on the road for environmental reasons, but aren’t a confident bike rider, why not practice on your bike around the park with your children, family or friends? Bike riding is great exercise so a great way of getting fit, as well as a fun shared activity.
Think About How Often You Can Say No!
If you’re on a longer day trip, spiritual retreat or holiday, you’ll probably want to buy a souvenir. Who doesn’t want a lantern from Turkey, or a packet of dates from Madina?! But when the friendly cashier asks if you’d like a bag for that, remember to say no. Carrying your own cotton or hessian eco-friendly bag will save hundreds of extra plastic bags going to landfill every year.
You can also say no when someone says ‘I’ll meet you there!’ If you’re travelling somewhere in your car because it isn’t convenient to take public transport then why not see if your friend or family members can share the journey with you, rather than taking their own car? Carpooling in this way will cut the carbon foot print of your journeys in half (at least!) as well as giving you some company for your journey.
Take A Walk!
Finally, don’t forget the simple pleasure of walking! If you’re not in a rush to get somewhere and the distance isn’t too great then why not put on your comfortable shoes and walk to your destination instead? Say no to that bus and get moving! Like bike riding, walking is great exercise and a great way to get to know your neighbourhood better. It’s also the ultimate carbon neutral, environmentally friendly mode of transport!
Be a role model for others, walk or cycle to your mosque!
Guest post from Julie Bowen
Travel Green in Ramadan
+ Visit be-safe.org to find out more about bike riding and bike safety.
+ The Transport for London website has some great advice about pedestrian safety.
+ Calculate the carbon footprint of your car.