News

Park the car and ride a bicycle for the Planet

By Ivy Jensen

ECHUCA-MOAMA residents are being encouraged to swap their cars for bicycles on Wednesday.

The Active Transport Echuca East Group (ATEEG) is supporting Park it for the Planet, a national initiative which aims to cut carbon emissions.

ATEEG member Jodi Ujimoto said transport accounted for almost 20 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions.

“Car transport is one of Australia’s biggest contributors to carbon emissions and thus has a significant impact on our climate,” she said.

“More than 18 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were attributed to petrol and gas-powered vehicles. Every time we drive our car, we contribute to climate change.”

However, Jodi said the good news was that almost everyone could do something about it.

“A 5km bike ride can prevent more than one kilogram of carbon from being emitted. Many trips across Echuca Moama are 5km or less,” she said.

“As a bonus, it is also often quicker to ride short distances without being stuck in traffic or wasting time finding a car park.

“Swapping the car for a bicycle to complete everyday jobs can not only help the environment but also helps you stay fit. With the current pandemic restrictions and the inability to play team sport or workout at the gym, riding a bike can help you get your daily exercise.

“Echuca and Moama are fabulous places to ride around and cycling enables you to appreciate the beauty of these areas.

“Together, we can all contribute to and help reduce our carbon emissions.”

Many members of ATEEG, including Alex Bachelor, are opting to ride a bicycle instead of drive a car as part of their everyday life.

Alex may have three young children, but that doesn't stop her from cycling every day.

Her smallest child is on a bicycle carrier baby seat while the other two are pulled behind on a child trailer.

“I take them everywhere with me and they absolutely love it,” Alex said.

“As well as it being quality family time, it keeps me fit and healthy and it's helping the planet."

To highlight exactly what a difference leaving the car at home can make, the Bicycle Network is asking everyone to register their ride at bicyclenetwork.com.au

“If every person who rides a bike on August 26 adds their ride, we can show how powerful a tool bike riding can be to help reduce our carbon emissions and climate change,” Bicycle Network chief executive Craig Richards said.

“Victorians still living under coronavirus restrictions are easily able get involved in Park it for the Planet and can use bike riding as a way of getting out of the house.”

Nominate how far you will ride instead of driving and enter the draw to win one of 50 Keep Cup Thermal reusable coffee cups.

Park it for the Planet day is inspired by the ABC TV’s three-part series Fight for Planet A.

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