Environmentally conscious alternatives to owning a car

Environmentally conscious alternatives to owning a car

The main source of CO2 emissions in Austria, apart from industry, is still transport. According to VCÖ, the increase in emissions in this area is the reason why the country has so far failed to meet its agreed Kyoto target. Even though a lot of work is being done on future technologies such as electric cars, most cars still run on conventional fuels. That means: Find alternatives. But how can you stay mobile without your own wheels??

Traveling by bus and train thanks to the Jobticket

A quarter of the trips made in Austria are journeys to or from the workplace. Three quarters of all commuters travel by car. Especially in metropolitan areas, this leads to considerable traffic problems and thus also to environmental problems. For the commuter in a residential area with favorable transport connections, public transport is probably the best alternative.

Since January 2011, there has been a tax-privileged job ticket in Austria for those who receive the commuter allowance for commutes of 20 kilometers or more to work. This currently includes 850.000 persons. VCÖ is now campaigning for all employees to be able to use the job ticket in order to create additional incentives for public transport. According to VCÖ a win-win situation: employees would be safer (and less stressful) on the road, and companies could save on the construction of new parking spaces. In addition, the environment would benefit from the pollutants saved.

Car pooling, carpooling and carpooling trains

Another way to ease traffic congestion is to carpool to work. You also have more time for private conversations among colleagues. Carpooling for longer distances among strangers is the concept of the so-called carpooling agencies. These exchanges bring drivers and passengers together to share fuel costs.

A relatively new concept, similar to carpooling, is currently spreading in Germany: the so-called Mitbahnzentralen, such as Mitbahnen, Bahnmitfahrgelegenheit or Ticket-Mitfahrer. Here you can look for fellow travelers for the train, with whom you can share the fares of group tickets. In Austria, ÖBB's Einfach raus ticket offers the opportunity to travel in a group. With this ticket, up to five people can travel throughout Austria for one day for a total of currently 28 EURO.

Car sharing – sharing cars

There are situations (unfavorable traffic connections, heavy luggage, etc.) that can be avoided.), where it is difficult to do without a car. Here there is the possibility of simply sharing a car with a lot of other people who themselves only need one from time to time: car sharing. Basically, it's a modern car rental service without a personal rental station.

DENZEL Mobility CarSharing GmbH is currently the only provider of this concept in Austria. They make vehicles available at 200 transport hubs throughout Austria. To use one of the cars, one must be registered with CarSharing and sign a user contract. With their CarSharin card, people can then pick up a car at the nearest location. The cars are available to both private and business customers. If you are unsure whether car sharing is right for you, you can try the service for 4 months at first.

In Austria, already 16.000 people use CarSharing. According to a VCÖ study, it is particularly interesting for those who have 12.000 kilometers per year by car. On average, a car is only used for one hour a day anyway. If you consider that a large part of the cost of a car is the fixed costs, car sharing pays for itself. Especially the environment benefits, because the car is really only used when it is needed. It is spared superfluous pollutants from journeys of convenience.

Neighborhood cars – private car sharing

The concept of sharing a car with the neighborhood via an organization is relatively new. To offer his own car to share with the neighborhood. Of course, car-sharing insurance guarantees that neither the renter nor the landlord will be left with the costs in the event of a claim. In Germany, such organizations are, for example, Nachbarschaftsauto or Tamyca. In Austria, a cooperative called Caruso has set out to spread the idea of neighborhood cars and is offering help with implementation.

There is an endurance runner in all of us

As former hunters, evolution has equipped humans to be endurance runners who can walk a good 20 to 30 kilometers a day without any problems…Theoretically! In today's world, many people, depending on their profession, do not manage to drive more than half a kilometer. In this case, it would be instinctive to use every possibility to accommodate the biology.

But the fact is that even short distances are often driven by car: a quarter of all car trips are under 2 kilometers – to the detriment of the environment and health. Walking these routes could save a lot of gasoline, and thus CO2, as well as do something for your body and mind: Get fresh air, stimulate circulation, strengthen muscles and clear your head. And if you are in a hurry, you can still cover the distance by bicycle within 5 minutes.

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