Are you debating the best way to get from A to B? Are you considering travelling by rail – but not sure if it offers the most benefits? You’re in the right place. Here, we explore five reasons to choose rail travel.
1. You can be productive
If you’re driving a car, you need to place your undivided attention on the road in front of you. When you take the train, however, you’re free to spend your time onboard as you wish. Whether that’s being productive by getting some work done on your laptop, relaxing with your favourite podcast or refuelling with a bite to eat, you can make the most of your time spent travelling.
2. It’s better for the environment
Studies have shown that public transport can help to tackle climate change – by reducing the reliance on individual car journeys and therefore lowering overall emissions from petrol and diesel. In the US, greenhouse gas emissions caused by transport accounts for around 29% of the country’s total emissions – so by having less cars on the road, emissions can be reduced. This will in turn improve air quality, particularly in urban areas, leading to a healthier population.
3. You can avoid traffic
Have you ever been in a rush to get somewhere, got stuck in a traffic jam and ended up being late? You’re not alone – many of us have been caught out by heavy traffic at one time or another. Travelling by train means you don’t need to worry about getting stuck in traffic, you can simply hop onboard and get from A to B with ease. For instance, if you need to travel by train from Cambridge to Hatfield in rush hour, you’ll typically arrive in less than an hour with no stress about traffic or parking.
4. It’s fast and efficient
Another benefit of travelling by rail is that it’s fast and efficient. Many rail services can travel at impressive high speeds which are much quicker than that of a car on the road. Of course, how fast the train travels will depend on the service and model – but some of the fastest trains in the world include the Shanghai Maglev at 267mph and the Fuxing Hao at 249 mph.
5. It’s cost-effective
Travelling by train may also be a more cost-effective option than travelling by car or plane. This really depends on where you’re travelling to and from, so it’s important to do your research before you book your travel. In some cases, you may be able to take advantage of deals and discounts from the train provider. For instance, you can often get great value fares if you have a railcard or travel at Off-Peak times.
Will you take the train next time you have to travel?
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Mother Nature is finally starting to breathe a little easier again. Indeed, it could be argued that this has been the major benefit of the coronavirus pandemic. The rules and regulations rolled out by political leaders in different countries might be tough, but these encouraged citizens from different parts of the world to change their ways and become more environmentally conscious.
But with lockdown restrictions now easing, it might prove tempting to lapse back into old, environmentally destructive ways. So, to help combat this, we’ve compiled a few simple lifestyle changes to ensure the planet continues to heal.
1. Go organic and shop local
You might have to pay a little more for the privilege, but by shopping and eating locally and organically, you’ll soon start to notice not only the taste difference but the positive difference in your overall health.
With the UK now considering lowering its standards when it comes to importing food, with the dreaded chlorinated chicken now on the table in trade deals with the US, keeping it fresh, organic, and local has never been more important.
The concept of safe food using organic waste generated compost is getting traction.
Aside from helping improve the environment, going organic and shopping local can also boost your local economy. By patronizing products and services from your locality, you are providing income to local workers and encouraging businesses to continue their operations. Going organic and shopping local is something everyone must do in order for their countries to easily recover from the effects of the pandemic.
2. Travel by train
We understand that travel by public transport hasn’t exactly been actively encouraged in recent months, but sooner or later, the world will return to some semblance of normality, and when that happens, train travel is comfortably one of the least damaging forms of transportation.
Of course, we would always recommend walking or cycling if at all possible, but we realise this won’t always be a realistic option. So, rather than firing up the car and spending a good hour wading through rush hour traffic every morning on your way to work, why not switch up your commute? This is particularly relevant in London, where trains from East Croydon to Norwood Junction are running constantly and provide faster and cleaner transport.
Travelling by train might be uncommon for some but making the change will surely be worth it in the long run. Travelling by train allows you to take care of the environment and save money. Moreover, train travel can be a great way to meet new people and appreciate the views in your locality.
3. Go paperless
It’s never been easier to lead a completely paperless life thanks to the digitization of most sectors and data. You’d be surprised how much paper is possible to get through if you’re not careful. The vast majority of services, however, now give you the option to go paperless as a good habit for the environment.
It’s often as simple as logging on to your bank accounts or your energy provider accounts and ticking a box. You can also help the cause a little further by ensuring you recycle all the paper and card you have already used and only printing off hard copies of documents when it’s 100% necessary.
It’s easy for anyone to start going paperless. If you usually receive your bills through physical mail, reach out to your service provider and have your bills emailed to you. You can also go paperless at work by encouraging your colleagues to send out emails for communication instead of printing documents regularly.
4. Avoid bottled water
Green living doesn’t always have to be difficult. Sometimes, it can even save you money! There is absolutely no legitimate reason to continue buying bottled water in this day and age. Plastic is a blight on our environment like no other and bottled water creates more plastic than almost any other product on earth.
A water filter is a cheap and elegant way to filter out any of the potential chemicals and contaminants that might make your tap water seem like a less attractive option. And think of all the money you’ll save, too! Oh, and while you’re at it, ditching plastic bags is something you should really be looking into, as currently, only around 3% of the world’s plastic bags are being recycled!
If you want to take it up a notch, carry a water tumbler inside reusable cotton bags, such as those from calico-bags.com.au. You should always bring reusable bags when you step out of your house because these will enable you to carry your purchases with ease and save money from buying plastics every time you buy something.
Incorporating eco-friendly habits to your life can be challenging at first, but if you want to preserve the environment and ensure that it continues to provide for your needs, you should be willing to make the change. Your efforts will surely go a long way to improve or maintain the condition of the environment!
Megacities are generally defined as cities with a population greater than 10 million. With this strict definition, it is no surprise that there are only around 30 or 40 megacities across the world. Alongside this, ‘sustainability’ and ‘megacity’ are terms that are almost inherently at odds with one another.
By their very design, megacities rely on resources from other distant places, as they rarely possess their own agricultural infrastructure. Because of this, megacities are generally forced to bear the costs of travel carbon for all the fresh produce that line their supermarket aisles.
In short, the way megacities have been designed and managed in the past is in need of some serious reform, with greater consideration towards the environment and greater investments in green infrastructure. Here’s how the globe’s megacities may be shaped by calls for sustainable growth in the not-so-distant future.
Streamlined waste management
With a population of 5 million, the city of Melbourne is poised to become a megacity in the next few decades. Civil engineers do have some concerns about the city’s ability to adapt to its forecasted growth, however. For instance, rubbish removal in Melbourne is already lagging behind when compared to other cities with similar populations. That being said, there are some other smaller ways in which Melbourne is also catching up – perhaps ready in time for when it’s projected to become a megacity in a few decade’s time.
Public waste bins in the Melbourne CBD are a type of smart bin that are solar-powered and are able to compact the rubbish much more effectively than standard bins. This results in fewer waste trucks travelling through the city less often, reducing their contribution to traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Going further, there are also emerging technologies that are able to use AI to recognise recycling and divert it away from landfill.
Melbourne’s comparatively higher than average population density is a factor to consider here as well, as the placement of bins and the routes of waste trucks are both likely to continue to be largely dictated by the flow of pedestrians through major throughways.
And what about the future of rubbish removal? Cities that are built with sustainability in mind would also be able to install waste bins with pneumatic pipes which transport rubbish directly to waste processing facilities. Given Melbourne’s grid-like layout and substantial underground system, it’s not unlikely that pneumatic pipes may become the veins of the city’s waste disposal system.
Increased accessibility and diverse transport options
Any larger city centre will naturally discourage the use of cars, as congested streets are already a byproduct of higher population density. This is immediately a boon in terms of sustainability, as fewer cars on the road means less pollution. That being said, the city needs to have the alternative transport options and infrastructure in place to make up for these ‘lost’ roadways. This includes bike pathways, pedestrian access, and perhaps most importantly, a variety of interconnected public transport options.
Tokyo is the largest city in the world yet is also ranked as one of the most livable. In fact, Japan’s capital is the only megacity to consistently land on many livability ranking lists. Japan’s public transport networks are world class, famous for having regular services and for being consistently on time. With bullet trains that reach 320km/h, you’d be hard pressed to find somewhere they can’t take you. As a bonus, they’ve recently become more accessible for wheelchair and mobility scooter users, as well as blind and deaf commuters too.
An abundance of green spaces
Green spaces are exactly what it says on the tin: areas of land that are predominantly covered by grass, trees or vegetation. Green spaces are vital in the development of any city but are of course, worth focusing on particularly when a city is developing into a megacity.
The presence of these spaces bring with them a whole slew of benefits. They have demonstrated that they are better for people’s mental health and also encourage a sense of social cohesion and community for people living in cities. The trees within these green spaces also do their part to mitigate urban pollution, and can even help keep cities cool during warmer weather.
The inclusion of green spaces into cities can also be more holistic – even if there isn’t space for a dedicated park, a tree-lined urban sprawl is far more appealing (and more accommodating towards urban wildlife) than an absolute lack of green.
A culture of urban agriculture
Finally, the perfect way to work against some of the extra reliance that megacities will naturally have on produce that is cultivated elsewhere, is for them to promote the development and upkeep of urban agriculture projects.
The space in any major city is limited, so rooftop farms are an excellent space-efficient step towards making megacities a little bit more self-sustaining. And like other green spaces, rooftop gardens and farms are also a great avenue towards promoting a sense of community within densely populated cities. Through novel processes such as hydroponics and aquaponics, rooftop farms can be sustainable without reliance on soil. They bring with them all the same benefits as green spaces with the added benefit of being a food source.
Some urban citizens are going as far as building honey farms on their rooftops, providing their wider communities with organic and locally grown honey, as well as cultivating local bee populations that can also help to maintain a city’s green spaces with ease.
As the number of megacities across the world continues to increase year upon year, our ideas about how to marry sustainability with megacities must rapidly transition from being an impossibility into being a reality. The logistics surrounding the infrastructure that makes up megacities is something that needs to be carefully considered as these cities grow larger, and not after that growth has already occurred.
Whilst these small steps towards sustainability aren’t essential to growing that city’s economy alongside its population, taking these measures for ensuring sustainable growth can certainly contribute to that city’s livability rating across the long term.
I suppose this exploration of the future of megacities all boils down to one question: without educated sustainable growth strategies in place, why should a future filled with megacities be considered anything but aspirational?
Environmental degradation has led to many devastating effects such as the depletion of the ozone layer, health problems for people living in areas where toxic fumes and chemicals are released and a change in weather patterns. Everyone can contribute to a better and healthier environment by living eco-friendly lives on a daily basis.
As a student, you can be able to change this and influence others towards getting the environment back to a better place to the extent possible. Here are some tips on how to be an eco-friendly student.
1. Use Little to No Paper
Reduce your use of paper as much as you can. If you want to take notes while in class, use your mobile phone, tablet or laptop to do so. Instead of buying books, download them and read from your device. Not only will you be saving trees from being cut but you will also save a lot of money.
2. Avoid Disposable Eating Utensils
Using disposable cups, plates, and spoons seems like the easiest thing to do to save time. However, this harms the environment in the long run. Choose to use utensils that you can wash and reuse over a long period of time. The money saved from buying these items can be used for eco-friendly projects you would like to participate in.
3. Drive Less and Cycle or Walk More
If your destination is not so far away, you can cycle or walk instead of driving. If the distance is too long, you can choose to travel by public transport. If many people opted to follow this and drive only when it is absolutely necessary, pollution would decrease significantly, contributing to positive effects in the environment.
4. Conserve Water
At all times, be conscious of the amount of water you use whether you are bathing, washing your hands after using the washroom, washing dishes or doing anything else that requires you to use water. To contribute to a green college, use an amount of water that you actually need when showering, brushing your teeth or when suitable.
5. Buy Reusable Bags
Buying plastic bags every time you go shopping is a waste of money and these bags take up so much space in the home. You can opt for reusable bags which you can use more than once when going out for shopping. Apart from saving money, you will save yourself from having to pile a lot of garbage from plastic bags.
6. Save Energy
This is one of the best ways on how to be eco-friendly. One way to save on energy is by reducing the degrees on your thermostat slightly. You can also power down any devices that are not in use such as your electronics. Switching off the lights when you do not need them also helps. Using energy-efficient bulbs is also helpful as they last longer and consume less energy.
7. Participate in Eco-Friendly Projects
Take advantage of every opportunity you get to participate in projects that lead to a better environment. This can be a challenge due to the amount of academic work you may have. You can always receive help with your assignment at any time.
If you are wondering who will do my essay Australia, then worry no more as there are professional writers in online writing services ready to help you anytime you need assistance. With no excuse now, you can participate in cleaning projects, tree planting and any other environmental projects.
8. Buy Reusable Water Bottles
Buying water each time you feel thirsty may not be economically and environmentally beneficial. You can opt to buy 2 or 3 reusable water bottles for carrying water at any time you are outdoor. When buying a water bottle, choose BPA free water bottles as they are more environmental-free.
9. Reduce Meat Consumption
Eating less meat can actually contribute to a better environment and slow down global warming. Harmful gases are usually released to the atmosphere during cattle rearing for meat production. Reducing the consumption of meat will mean less harmful gases being released thus slowing down global warming.
10. Use Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
Many cleaning products contain ingredients that are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. One of the best sustainability tips is to use eco-friendly cleaning products as much as possible. Products such as baking soda, lemons, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide are all-natural cleaning products that are not toxic and are easily available.
To get the right ingredients to get rid of any type of stain, you can research on the internet to get suggestions on what you can use.
Whether you know anything about living an eco-friendly life or not, you can always learn and there is always something you can do to make the earth a better place. Keeping up-to-date with the condition of the earth can help you know what you need to work on.
Apart from doing all the above to be an eco-friendly student, you can also join environmental clubs and take part in any events and projects that are geared towards saving our environment. Conducting personal research on how to be more eco-friendly and sharing information with others is also a good way of being an eco-friendly student.
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