How green do you go about your day with Cycling?
Going Green is associated with existence of life and how vibrant it is, it’s a growing synonym for technologies, habits, energy sources or even vehicles that claim to minimize the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they produce. “Going green” can be described as adapting routines, methods and solutions that aim at reducing the greenhouse gases emitted to accomplish a particular task, like getting about.
Carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product. It includes most commonly, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases. These gases absorb infrared radiation from the ever-shining sun causing the atmosphere to warm up resulting in the now well popularized modern world problem you probably know “GLOBAL WARMING”.
Our daily activities greatly contribute to the overall GHG emissions directly and even indirectly, and in most cases is impossible to quantify due to the complexity of interacting processes, it is however non negligible, climate change has been occurring ever since the industrial revolution. The atmosphere has grown around 1.5 degrees warmer and continues to warm up
The blame shifts from cooperate institutions, factories, power houses etc., to us. The simple everyday man, we are all accountable for greenhouse gas emissions directly and indirectly
Owning a motor vehicle, taking flights, using electricity, eating processed food which are seemingly harmless routines, do contribute to these emissions. Being aware of how directly and indirectly we contribute to the warming of our planet can help us tailor our routines to minimize these emissions, notably taking a walk or bicycle to work , eating less meats and processed foods and using electricity more efficiently can be routines adaptable to. Public transportation however inconvenient in our country, the emissions of a single car which is shared among 14 passengers is lower compared to a private vehicle with a single passenger. Fuel automobiles and manufacturing companies which are the greatest direct ways of GHG emission and human food consumption behaviors which is an indirect way, contribute more compared to other activities like bicycle cycling or walking to work which almost contribute non as illustrated below;
With all the above statics, a question should be paused, what is the best way to protect and improve a growing smart city like Kampala from the overwhelming GHG emissions? Ideally walking would be the go-to solution but not practical for city dwellers and the emerging smart cities in Africa.
Practically bicycle cycling is the solution to whatever kind of envision we have to save our climate and the overcrowded cities from most dangerous emissions which is also good for our health and community is so many different ways like;
Creating more space and noise pollution free environment: with almost 20% of people living in cities driving fuel gas emitting automobiles, this has significantly increased not only the emission levels but suffocated the well being of people in major cities and cheated human interaction physical activities which is attributed to lack of parking space, a lot of traffic and significant noise which has been a big trigger for mental health apparently.
Emotional and physical therapy: Driving a car has been tagged as luxury and for the well to class of people by society but this has indirectly cheated us part of our health. In a traditional African setting gaining weight was viewed as being rich and the comfort of just sitting in a car to your office makes that attainable in the shortest possible time, however over a long period it has been proven that there so many health risks involved which is why cycling is highly recommended. Peddling not only is it healthy for your physical well being but also greatly combat anxiety, depression and reduce stress levels which would improve our life span and reduce of suicide rates.
Connecting to our environment: So many times, a majority of car owners do not experience the beauty of their surrounding which is why it would be so hard to protect what you do not know. They drive through from their homes to work and back, however if they took a random bicycle ride in the city, there is a lot of connections, beauty and beautiful experience from our environment from the beautiful vegetation and the different natural surroundings, a bicycle ride not only gives you a far reach of such an experience but the flexibility of being able to reach nature is fondly amazing.
Building strong community bonds: Community has always been built on greatly physical interact unfortunately the pandemic limited that which has forced us to see our neighbors from the windscreens of our cars. This has caused a wave of depressed and lonely people for the past one and half year because they only pass through for specific needs like shopping at the malls and buying food at the different market joints. Cycling through the city, smiling or even nodding at each other is health but also creates good communal bonds
Cycling is advisably the best alternative practical solutions due to the physical exercise involved in the process for smart cities in Africa to combat Carbon footprint effects, however practical walking and convenient it’s not a solution for city dwellers who on a daily have to move in and out of the cities which can be achieved by different stakeholders, policy makers and government restructuring the city center to meet these cycling needs.