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Greener travel: a quick guide

Personal travel accounts for up to a quarter of all the damage individuals do to the environment across Europe, including climate change effects. You can reduce the climate change impact of your travel in a number of ways.

1. Consider travelling less

Reducing your travel will reduce climate change effects and local air pollution.

Can you get what you want nearer to home, or without travelling at all? You could think about using local leisure facilities and shops, or sometimes working from home. When it comes to holidays, there are many beautiful places to visit in the UK.

2. Try different ways to get around

Leaving your car at home and walking, cycling, or taking the bus or train will help reduce the negative impacts of driving. It is also possible to travel longer distances by other modes of transport, not just air.

3. Drive smarter to reduce your fuel consumption

Making some simple changes to the way you drive can reduce fuel consumption and reduce climate change effects. For example, try driving smoothly, sticking to the speed limits, and keeping tyres properly inflated. You could save one month’s worth of fuel over a year through smarter driving.

4. Buy a more efficient car

You could save the equivalent of three months’ worth of fuel over a year

You don't have to compromise to buy a greener car - just choose a more fuel efficient one.

New cars carry a fuel economy label telling you how efficient they are. Choosing a more efficient car can help reduce carbon emissions and local air pollution. It will often also save you money on vehicle tax and other charges.

Based on 2005 registration data, a fuel-efficient new car could also save you the equivalent of three months' worth of fuel over a year.

5. Maintain your vehicle responsibly

Well maintained vehicles tend to run more efficiently. Waste from car maintenance is often hazardous, like engine oil, other fluids, batteries and tyres. Careless discarding of these items can cause pollution but council waste facilities will be able to accept them for safe disposal. 

6. Think about car sharing or car clubs

On an average day on the British roads, each vehicle carries 1.6 people, with approximately 38 million empty seats

Car sharing is when two or more people travel by car together for all or part of a trip. Car sharing can cut down on your travel costs and reduce your carbon emissions. It may also give you increased personal security when walking to and from the car.

You could also join a car club, which provides its members with access to a vehicle on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Vehicles are usually parked close to homes or workplaces. For some people, joining a car club and having access to a car means they don't need to own one.

7. Offset your unavoidable emissions

If you can't avoid the need to travel, you can offset the carbon dioxide emissions you cause. This involves paying someone to save the same amount of carbon dioxide as you have produced. An example of an offsetting project would be using solar or wind power to generate electricity without producing any carbon dioxide.

Find out more about carbon offsetting by following the link below.

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Time to renew your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

EHICs issued in 2005 and early 2006 will soon need to be renewed. Don't risk travelling in Europe without a valid card.

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