April 1st is Walk to Work Day. Yay! Found out on daysoftheyear.com so nay I’m not doing April fool on you. This is real stuff. The Walk to Work Day is purely to give you a chance to reduce carbon emissions, get fit, and avoid the traffic jams. In my opinion, it also helps you save on transport fare and also your fuel especially if you are suffering fuel scarcity like we are in Nigeria. What more can you ask for on a day like this?
You must wondering what i’m on about right? Come with me, keeping it short and simple, let me show you just what I mean.
1. Carbon emissions? What are these carbon emissions though?
Before all this advancement in technology, there was a balance between the emission and removal of CO2 thanks to natural processes. Our human processes has caused an imbalance by unnaturally adding CO2 to the atmosphere through industrial processes. This imbalance is a problem because of its effect on climate change. Climate change has brought about negative effects on agriculture and the environment. For example, the oceans are now more acidic which negatively affects the organisms that dwell there.
So basically, we are safe to say Carbon emissions typically come from various sources through mostly human activities and naturally from Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. The main human activity that emits CO2 are some industrial processes, land-use changes and the combustion of fossil gases such as oil, natural gas and coal which are typically used for energy and transportation.
I’m going to focus on transportation to stick with the topic of this article. Recently I taught the kids at my mum’s school about some disadvantages of technological advancement. The most remembered one among the kids is air pollution from cars. So yes not driving to work today means we gain one day of reduced air pollution. Do you know what good that could do for our lungs, skin and environment?
So basically, combustion of fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel takes place when we drive, fly air planes and even from trains. Transportation accounts for the second largest source of CO2 emissions. Now think of what we are doing to the environment with the incessant use of generators! Remember they are also powered with petrol and diesel?
The US Environmental Protection Agency advises that the best way to reduce carbon emission is by reduction of fossil fuel consumption. Yes they mean less driving, less airplanes, less train and sea journeys. How on earth do they now expect us to move around? Donkeys perhaps? Or Electric cars? Yes electric cars exist but I doubt they will be coming to Nigeria anytime soon seeing as we don’t have electricity to sustain it. Cars will just stop in third mainland bridge – #disaster!
To publicise and support the need to reduce fossil fuels consumption is mostly likely the reason why today was chosen as Walk to Work Day. You are encouraged to leave your cars at home today. But how? How do I get to work if it usually takes me 2hours when I drive? You are right to question this. I too question it. Any better way to solve this? ….putting on my thinking cap… Aha!
- You can use public transport (I for one can’t stand them buses). To help reduce carbon emission.
- If you are like me and can’t stand public transport (in Nigeria), then share a ride with your neighbour. To save money and also reduce carbon emission – one less car on the road.
- Ride your bicycle. – helps you stay fit!
- Park your car at a convenient spot and walk the rest of the distance to work. Helps you stay fit and yes you do get to Walk to Work finally.
Just do something to show support even if it’s just for a few minutes.
2. Get fit
Walking is free. You don’t need a gym membership to pull this off. Walking is a good form of exercise as it has been proven to help the heart, lower blood pressure, ease stress and even help with weight loss if done frequently. You can even make it a brisk work – your cardio exercise sorted for the day. If you are going to go for a long walk, make sure you put on comfy walking shoes or a nice pair of trainers – this is to avoid you having pains or injury from walking in the wrong shoes. I once had the misfortune of walking for nearly 30minutes from the train station to a friend’s home in a nice pair of pumps and men by the time I arrived at her home, I could no longer stand properly. Infact my walk was a huge struggle – my feet were sore and ached badly and I felt this pain for days!
3. Avoid traffic jams
Less cars means less traffic jams. It’s a win-win for all.
4. Save Money
Yes you don’t have to pay that cab man or the bus fair today. Plus you don’t have to queue for fuel or get stopped by LASTMA or the Nigerian Police who will cunningly get money from you if your paperwork isn’t perfect in their eyes. You can save that money or spend it on a nice lunch or afterwork drinks with your friends.
5. Save Fuel
No kidding friend. We have been battling with fuel scarcity for weeks now. It is no joking matter. Luckily, this week we are on break at the school so I have stayed indoors working on blog posts and some clients projects. This week I have succeeded in publishing 4 articles something I have never done due to my busy life. Nowhere important to go to so I decided to park my car and save on fuel. My mum’s is about 10 minutes away and if I need to go there, I can just walk. The park where I exercise is also about 10 minutes away, so I can just walk. Easy like that and thanks to fuel scarcity, I get to exercise a little more too.
On a final note, you might not be able to achieve all 5 of this but do give at least 1 a try – you will be amazed how fantastic you feel by the end of the day. Care to share? Then please leave a comment.
Happy Walking folks.