<a href="http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Greener future = fewer cars

Cyclist

Credit: Richard Drdul / Wikimedia Commons

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So how did you go with this challenge?

I've really enjoyed it. I've managed to get through a novel (Sick Puppy, by Carl Hiaasen - fiction about an environmental activist and a funny labrador dog he takes hostage) while taking my extra train journeys, and got some more exercise in walking to and from the train station.

I think ditching the car is one of those things that gets easier when you make a habit of it. At first, it's a bit fiddly finding out what times you need to get started on your journey so that you've got enough time to make it to your destination. And then you have to sort out paying for your trips, if you're taking public transport. Plus there's figuring out which stop you need, or where you're going to park your bike.

But once you've got these things figured out, you don't give them any more thought, and it becomes so easy to do. It becomes something you look forward to and enjoy. I'm at the stage now where I miss the time spent reading and listening to music if I get a lift home from work!

Changing from a car to public transport or a bike (or walking) has great benefits for the environment and for your health. And as we move to a greener future, we're going to be using cars less often - it's time to get the best alternatives organised.

Australia is starting to get modern features like online timetables and swipe cards for access, but we're not done yet. And we could be much better with our support for cyclists.

If you find you haven't got the public transport you'd like, or the resources you need as a bike rider, definitely consider contacting your local council or state government. They won't provide these things until we, the public, ask for them and use them.