How do you get to school in the morning? Do you walk, scoot or ride your bike? Do you take the bus or train? Or do you get dropped off at school in a car?
Think about how long it takes you to get to school in the morning. You do that twice a day (once in the morning when you go to school, and once in the afternoon when you’re on your way back from school). Now think about all of the children all over the world doing a very similar journey, also twice a day, to their schools.
Scientists reckon that there are over 2 billion children in the world – so that’s a lot of journeys and, if everyone went by car, a lot of fuel would be used!
One thing you might not know is that cars, lorries, vans, buses, and anything else which uses petrol as a fuel produces carbon dioxide, which travels into the atmosphere and damages the ozone layer. The carbon dioxide comes out of the exhaust pipe at the back of the vehicle, but it’s invisible so we don’t even notice!
In fact, every year, vehicles around the world produce over 4 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.
So it’s simple to work out that by using cars less, we’ll produce less carbon dioxide – which will be much better for our environment!
That’s why it’s cool to walk (or scoot, or cycle) to school! Not only will you not produce any carbon dioxide, but you’ll be enjoying the fresh air and the sights, sounds and smells of the amazing world around you. You could even arrange to walk to school with a friend… it’s great exercise and it’ll give you a chance to chat before lessons begin.
But what if you live too far away from school to walk, scoot or cycle? There are plenty of ways you can help reduce carbon dioxide too. By taking the bus, train or another method of public transport, you’ll be producing a lot less carbon dioxide, as lots of other children will be travelling that way too. So if 30 children take the bus, that’s 30 car journeys being saved – and only one bus producing carbon dioxide, instead of 30 cars.
If you don’t live near a bus route or train station, there are options too. Why not ask your parents if you can share a lift with other children from your school? That way, you will save on car journeys, and carbon dioxide, too. You could even ask to be dropped off a short way from the school to save on that last little bit of petrol.
Why not spread the word… it’s cool to walk to school!
And here’s another fun fact for you… the current amount of nuclear fuel that’s generated in the world saves as much carbon dioxide as it would if you halved the number of cars on the road in Britain! Awesome!