MyNI are encouraging people across Northern Ireland to take a car diet to improve your health and help slow down climate change.
Did you know research has found that people inside vehicles are exposed to far higher levels of air pollution than those walking along the same urban routes? Walking more lowers the risk of getting serious diseases and can help slow down climate change.
The biggest irony of the ‘lockdowns’ during Covid was that many people found their feet, and in some cases, a different set of wheels.
There has been a massive surge in walking since March 2020 with retailers reporting soaring sales of walking shoes.
As leisure and shopping centres closed their doors, we were forced to find alternative outlets and went back to basics, finding a release pounding the streets.
Many of us also discovered our local parks and outdoor spaces, places we maybe hadn’t appreciated before. Less traffic on our roads meant we could hear the birds sing and those who dusted off our bikes found they could cycle more confidently on quieter streets.
Sadly, the traffic is largely back but if there are any personal lessons from the pandemic, it may have shown us that walking and cycling are both enjoyable and feasible modes of transport. They are also very good for us and our environment.
MyNI’s top tips for trying the car diet one day a week
- Try walking to your local shop for essentials (support local business)
- Meeting a friend for a coffee and cake? Work up that appetite by walking
- Walk with the children to school, summer camp or sports activity
- Try walking to work just one day a week, then try two days a week
- Take the family on a walk at the weekend close to home instead of driving to a location