Treading Softly - Environmentally considerate living in a rural english home and garden

Treading Softly

Travel and Transport




Both being home-based for our work, travel is no longer a significant part of our lives. A previous business organisational life had wrestled away any enthusiasm for daily commute by train or car. We successfully and happily opted to work from home and avoid the daily commute and holiday airports.

Cars

Annual Car mileage chart
* Car mileage jumped in 2011 and 2012 with frequent visits had to be made to a distant relative.

2018 - Nissan Leaf 2018 All Electric



Nissan EVWe decided to replace the 'inherited local runner' vehicle. In October 2018 we purchased the Nissan Leaf 2018 40Kw battery version. A 7Kw Battery charger was installed on the garage wall with an 8-metre cable so future electric cars could be charged in a choice of 3 positions within the garage and 2 outside the garage.

The vehicle immediately reduced our operational carbon footprint as its electricity is supplied by wholly green renewable energy sources. Charging is done on an off-peak tariff between midnight and 0700 which is adequate time to top up the battery (40Kw /7Kw charger = 6 hours).

Range varies depending on the season from 155 - 175 miles on a full battery. Excellent economics averaging in its first year 2.39 pence per mile which compares to 14.6p per mile for the hybrid Prius. The driving experience is very good.

2009 - Ford Ka




In 2009 a Ford Ka was inherited and used as a 'local runner' adding minimal mileage. It's mileage is included in the above chart.

2006 - Toyota Prius




Nissan EV It was a protracted but in the end, an easy decision in 2006 to trade in the two "K" and "L" registered vehicles for a single Toyota Prius electric-petrol hybrid car. While the Prius is economical with low CO2 emissions (105 gm/Km), it was the decision to switch from 2 old cars to one new car that made the greatest impact. Total vehicle mileage dropped by 25%. Spare parts, MOTs, servicing, petrol, repairs and worry were more than halved. .

The Prius averages 52 MPG with better performance in the autumn and spring when the heating and cooling systems are least utilised. A £10 road tax and London Congestion Charge waiver improve the economics. Having any new car reduces running costs and materials but of course comes with massive embedded CO2 from its production and delivery.Initial thoughts of replacing it with a newer model after 3 years dissipated and it will be kept for many years to come when it will be replaced with a one of many all electric vehicles coming to the UK market.

 

Plane

Annual Air mileage chart

Since 2003, when organisational responsibilites ended, Air Travel has generally been avoided and for many years no air travel was undertaken which had a hugely beneficial effect on our carbon footprints. We now aim to keep air travel under 1,500 miles a year but exceptions beyond our control sometimes happen causing the peaks in 2014 and 2018. Over the last 20 years (2000 - 2019) we have averaged 715 air miles per year.

Train

The train was used for routinely commuting 30 miles (2 hours) a day until 2003.
Since then only a few 25-mile train trips are typically made each year. When holidaying we increasingly look to rail travel and utilise seat61.com for detailed advice in the most enjoyable of all travel modes, particularly in Europe.

Bus

The bus is used for approximately 6 journeys per year on holiday or to travel within 10 miles of home on one of a dozen hourly services a day (8 am to 7 pm) to/from the local town. We make more frequent use of the bus as part of the local Park and Ride services into the town centre and back. An excellent service on an all electric bus, since 2019, and a welcome facility for us.

Bicycle

The 18-year old bicycle that once was regularly used in summer and winters to get around the village was finally recycled in 2010 after many years of service. It may be replaced with a more robust and better geared model in due course, but for now, walking is the only mode option for journeys within a mile of home.

Our Transport saving habits