There is no doubt that cars offer a great deal of benefits, both to individuals and society, in terms of increased mobility and personal freedom. Having said that, anyone reading TreeHugger will also be keenly aware of the negatives, and we're not just talking about greenhouse gases here. Urban sprawl, poor local air quality, drastically reduced road safety, increased noise, and the decreased walkability of our communities can all be traced back to excessive car use. Fortunately, people are beginning to think beyond their simple 'cars good', or 'cars bad' positions, and are seeking to find ways for society to enjoy the best of both worlds — the use of private cars when necessary, while still reducing overall traffic, noise and emissions. Approaches range from car clubs, to ride sharing, to promoting liveable, walkable neighborhoods. Now we've come across Carplus, a UK-based national charity promoting sustainable transport solutions and 'responsible car use'. Carplus works to encourage and promote creative responses to current transport related problems:
"Carplus plays a unique bridging role between green transport organisations and the motoring lobby. Whilst recognising the benefits cars bring to society, Carplus is acutely aware of the financial, environmental, social and health costs of motoring today. Responsible car use embraces vehicle choice, alternative fuel technology, minimising car use, car clubs, car-sharing, improved driving behaviour, promoting journey planning, responsible disposal of cars, and all aspects of how we perceive and use the car."
The organization offers site-specific advice and consultancy on all aspects of car use within a sustainable transport framework, and it has also produced a number of reports, resources and guides promoting car clubs, car sharing and sustainable transport. As if this were not enough, the charity also provides marketing resources for members, and acts as a network for like-minded groups to learn from each other in their mission to reduce car dependency. For anyone wanting to know about more solutions to car dependency, check out our guides on How to Green Your Car, How to Green Your Public Transportation, and How to Green Your Community.::Carplus::via The Permaculture Association::