You gotta make Sustainability easy, or it won’t happen
I was on the wireless on Saturday, commenting on a new injection of cash for cycling infrastructure in Newcastle and other major UK cities. The bit of my pre-recorded freeform ramble they used was when I said that whenever I took my kids on a ride, it usually started off OK, but inevitably we’d hit a major road and/or a gnarly junction and would have to get off and walk.
I proved that point to myself later that same day when eldest son Harry and I tried out a new route and quite literally got bogged down as a bridleway turned out somewhat less solidly built than it looked on the map (above). But this was the only traffic-free route out of the North of the City.
Good news from the City of London where new infrastructure has lead to cycling now being the most popular vehicular transport mode in the morning peak. Calgary has seen a 50% rise in cycling in a single year following a similar investment. Newcastle’s infrastructure continues to develop, but the really good bits are not yet connected together to make journeys straightforward.
My point here is not about cycling, but about behaviour change. You cannot expect people to take the Sustainable option if it is more difficult (or dangerous!) than ‘business as usual’. I’ve often said that the most effective quick wins are usually removing barriers to Sustainability. Make Sustainability easy.
We cover how to make Sustainability easy in our online training course Green Jujitsu: The Smart Way to Engage People in Sustainability.