Psaros / News

Perth: Getting from A to B Sustainably

Can you imagine living without the use of a car? Australia’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are more than four times the world average.

While you may take care in reducing your carbon footprint in other ways, most people in Perth drive fossil-fuelled cars. The sheer distances we navigate between our homes and where we work or study is vast.

Looking at our geographical information shows just how much Perthites spread themselves along the coastline. Singleton to Two Rocks is 125 kilometres, all of which is developed with housing and infrastructure and all of which we consider ‘Perth’. To put it into perspective, 125km is farther than from Sydney to Newcastle, which most east coasters would consider a full-blown road trip.

Though it may seem like driving in Perth is a necessary evil, there are many ways you can navigate through our sprawling city without damaging the environment. It’s not hard; these solutions merely require a change of perspective and a prioritisation of sustainable initiatives.

Perth Inner-City Living

Perth census data shows those living in our innermost suburbs drive to work at almost half the rate our wider population does. 

This can be attributed to several factors, but most significantly, those living in inner city suburbs live in a convenient location to public transport systems and places of work.

Most capital cities will place you in a convenient location to train lines and bus routes, however within the Perth CBD we are also lucky enough to have the free CAT shuttle service. The CAT generously offers free trips from East to West Perth, Northbridge, The Esplanade and almost everywhere in between. The service runs every 10 to 15 minutes on weekdays, allowing you to get to your destination quicker than it would usually take to get a parking space in the area.

Services like the CAT could explain the high percentage of bus commuters seen in the census data and give Perth commuters even more of a reason to try sustainable modes of transport.

The inner city suburbs also show a significant portion of people who walk to work, with over 20% of people who live in the City of Perth walking to their workplace every day. This solution obviously isn’t available to all people, but it’s worth considering how the location of your home might influence your impact on the environment.

Alternative transportation options

Even if you’re saving for your dream inner-city apartment, other options are available to help you get around in a greener way.

Biking is a great way to get around Perth as our city fosters a great cycling culture. There are bike paths along many major roads, friendly cycle clubs, favourable weather conditions year-round, and plenty of cafes open in the early morning for bike commuters.

Importantly, cycling daily is hugely beneficial to your health. Finding 30 minutes of physical exercise every day, as recommended by The Heart Foundation, can be especially difficult when you work full-time. Cycling to and from work and using cycling as your primary source of transport is an easy way to ensure you meet these health suggestions and maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to get yourself down to Margaret River for a weekend on a bike alone. And there may be other times, such as emergencies, where you will require a car.

Luckily, this doesn’t mean you have to choose an environmentally damaging method of transport, as recent initiatives have been made in Perth to encourage drivers to adopt electric vehicles.  Electric vehicles will save you money on your fuel bill, and also significantly reduce your contribution to fossil fuel emissions.

While driving an electric vehicle used to present a logistical nightmare, in 2012 23 charging stations were introduced between Midland and Fremantle. This is physical proof sustainable transport options are changing. More opportunity than ever exists to make responsible choices and still live an exciting, sustainable lifestyle.

Walking the talk

If you would like more information about a lifestyle that supports sustainable transport options, contact Psaros today.