Sustainability. Along with urbanisation and population growth, there is a significant rise in the number of buildings and facilities that are required. However, one thing over the last few years has been long forgotten - this world is not just for us, it's also available for our future generations. This sounds a bit, 'heard it all before', but seriously, we need to start thinking about this, the world will continue to deconstruct if we don't act soon.
In raising awareness to this subject, I have been finding more and more ways that make sustainable travel just so easy. So here are the 7 best applications that are readily available for your phone or tablet:
7 Google Maps
We have all used this. We all know it’s easy and friendly to use. It’s plain and simple really, it gives us exactly what we ask for: how to get somewhere, how far it is, how long it will take and how bad the traffic will be. The reason I have given this such a low rating on this list is that this is frequently used as a way of finding a car journey, it has the options of cycling, walking or public transport, but driving alone is still an option – which really goes against the points I am trying to make. Changing the way you travel and making a difference really is possible.
Rydes is a simple step by step app that makes car sharing easier than you thought. Car-sharing is a fabulous way of green transportation as you decrease the amount of traffic on the road by simply joining together to share your journey.
Request. Match. Go.
It is as simple as that, this app gives you access to rides going anywhere and everywhere. Making you less stressed and your journey more enjoyable. Not to mention the social factors, meeting new people and sharing the experience together.
Cyclemaps is simple to use and so accessible to everyone. You set your home destination and off you go - well, pretty much! There's a couple of preferences you can set, for example, the quickest or quietest route, which make it a personal route for you.
Cycling has huge benefits for your body. An easy way to keep your body fit and healthy is cycling to and from work because, let's be honest, it's probably nicer than the backed up traffic. The NHS minimum level of moderate aerobic activity can be achieved by simply cycling 5 miles a day (that's only 2.5 miles each way!).
A great quote I found from a cycle to work scheme, really made me think about my own choice of transport: 'A car runs on money and makes you fat and a bike burns fat and saves you money' - it's common sense really.
Walk. I mean, you were given two legs for a reason, right? And there are just so many benefits that it would be silly not to. A huge financial benefit - it is completely free, no equipment needed, no insurance to pay for, just yourself. You can literally go anywhere at anytime without worrying about traffic, delays or anything like that.
This app is super easy to use too, just join up and you can track your walks, get directions for the quickest or quietest routes. You'll discover so much more with walking.
There are multiple health benefits as well, it improves circulation, joints, sleep and mental well-being, reduces the risk of premature death, reduces the risk of breast and colon cancers and that's just to name a few. Getting out in the fresh air also enhances your Vitamin D intake, even if in the indirect sun. The list just gets longer.
Another reason so many people enjoy walking is the weight loss. If you were to walk 30 minutes everyday up hill at 3.5 mph for 4 weeks, you'd lose 1.6 lbs. That's not including a healthy diet, so you can imagine these benefits get so much better with a healthy diet.
So I repeat: walk. Anywhere, everywhere and all the time.
3 Bla Bla Car
Straight-forward, simple and effective. This application has three pages to navigate, ‘Find a Ride’, ‘Your Rides’ and ‘Offer a Ride’, which is quite self-explanatory, you can offer or find a ride and then view your future rides too. Make yourself a profile to get extra pages that ensures your safety, allows you to rate drivers, and book instant car sharing journeys. This app gets higher rating than Rydes because it simply is just so much easier.
Car-sharing not only benefits the environment, but also you. Reducing the number of empty car seats on the road, by riding together, means reducing the number of cars on the road, reducing emissions and reducing the negative impact on the environment. With all these great impacts, why do we still have 38 million car seats unoccupied?
And, why wouldn’t you want to share your journey? Did you know, 81% of people said that car sharing made them happier? Did you also know that the average financial savings from changing your commuter travel to car sharing is £1,000 per year.
If you're not a fan of public transport but are still trying to be a part of greener travel, this is a perfect way to do so, especially during the winter when cycling and walking are not as fun.
2 UK Bus Checker App
I thought I’d sworn off getting the bus when I got a car 2 years ago, buses just seemed so unreliable, never on time and that’s if they ever showed up! The car seemed to be the best option. However, in the attempt to be part of the sustainability schemes, greener travel and lowering your carbon footprint, I searched for numerous modes of transport. The last option I looked into, the bus, seemed to offer the most! In complete surprise, the UK Bus Checker app (which is also free!) gives you everything you need to know. All the information in one place: route maps, favourite bus stops, live times, and all sorts.
It comes highly recommended and is super easy to use. It tracks your location, so all you need to do is type in your destination and it will lead you straight there. You can select departure times or arrival times, how many changes you would prefer, then just follow its lead. With over 300,000 bus stops from more than 40 towns and cities, 1.2 million roads and postcodes, this app has been designed to make your journey easier.
Your everyday commute is now even easier, favourite the journey to get live updates. With little gadgets like this included in the app, it's a quick way to make sure you’re on time, all the time.
Who thought that travelling by bus could be so easy? This app really does make your journey hassle free. Live disruption updates and one-tap journey planning, gives you the ease of access to transport you need.
Never say no to the bus again.
Bike hub is definitely the app that wins the 5-star prize. It is innovative and stylish. It's got everything. Not only does it does the basic details of Cyclemaps, it explains biking laws and safety, gives quotes for encouragement, alerts you of bike shops and so much more!
You'd never guess that this was a free app, because it has everything you need, and I mean everything.
This app is extremely safe, in a way that other apps aren't, it gives you routes away from the main roads, away from the fast traffic, making your ride much more enjoyable. Circular routes or A to B journeys are available, and there is an option to favourite your journey if you enjoyed it, to save it for the next time.
This is definitely a deserved top app for sustainable travel. Pedal power.