Take local action this Earth Day to have a global impact on climate

Earth Day 2022: A street including a bicycle with the caption 'Invest in our planet'Local charity Camcycle wants Cambridgeshire residents to take action on Earth Day, Friday 22 April, and play their part in building the sustainable region of the future. The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate has highlighted that our region is at high risk from the changing climate through flooding, heatwaves and water shortages, but if everyone is part of the transition to net zero we can successfully make the changes that are needed. Camcycle suggests five ways residents can make a positive difference:

1) SWITCH one car trip per day to cycling or walking

Over 60% of UK journeys between 1 and 2 miles are made by car and recent research has shown that if 10% of the UK population were to replace one car trip each day with a journey by cycle, overall transport emissions would decrease by about 10%.

2) SHARE your ideas for sustainable streets

Spend just three minutes responding to Camcycle’s survey on the Best Streets in Cambridgeshire. The charity wants to find the streets residents love to help them work with community groups such as Milton Cycling Campaign and St Ives Eco Action on the changes needed to help more people choose sustainable transport. If you have more time, find a group local to you and get involved!

3) SUPPORT Camcycle’s campaign for Zero Carbon Streets via the Big Give Green Match Fund

The Best Streets survey is part of a campaign to support local communities in creating the ‘zero carbon streets’ of the future. Transport makes up 44% of the region’s CO2 emissions, so it’s a great place to start achieving reductions. With your help, more local groups will be empowered to work for better active travel routes that will help more people walk and cycle for everyday journeys. Donations made between noon on Earth Day and noon on Friday 29 April will be doubled via the Big Give Green Match Fund.

4) SHOW election candidates you care about climate

Vote Bike! ballot boxPersonal action on climate is important, but pushing for change from decision-makers can make an even bigger difference. Use Camcycle’s annual election survey (which will be published at 9am on Monday 25 April) to see the views of candidates in local district elections on active travel issues near you. Cambridgeshire County Council’s Climate Change and Environment Action Plan says it will collaborate with other local authorities to make walking, cycling and public transport the “natural first choice for Cambridgeshire residents” by 2030. When you see local election candidates, ask them how they will help to achieve this aim.

5) SPEAK up for change

The Earth Day theme for 2022 is ‘Invest in Our Planet’. The Earth Day website says that: “As individuals, we have the simple yet effective power to make our voices heard through our choices, our civic actions, and our personal interactions. What each of us does, and how we do it, has a huge ripple effect on our ecosystems, and on the pace of corporate and government action”. Be confident knowing that each action you take makes a difference: for example, a two-mile journey walked instead of driven will save 2,400kg of Antarctic sea ice from melting!* Spread the word to help others get involved too.

*This fact was presented on the BBC’s ‘What Planet are We On?’ programme (44 minutes) and is based on research undertaken by Ken Caldeira.