Creating a walking/biking culture.
As a complement to these strategies, you can easily reduce your carbon footprint by setting up a lifestyle that is more of a walking/biking culture vs. a driving culture.
This approach brings us back to the idea of zones in permaculture. Rather than thinking of zones in the context of a property, you want to use the zoning idea with regards to where you live and how often you are walking, biking, driving and flying.
For example, if zone 1 is your house, then zone 2 is where you walk to on a daily basis, zone 3 are locations that are bikeable, zone 4 are locations that you frequent via public transport, zone 5 are places where you need to travel by car, and finally, zone 6 are those regions where you would need to fly, take a train or a boat.
You could conceivably design your life where your house is located near your place of work (if not in your home), your children’s school is within walking distance, perhaps the grocery store and library are within biking distance, and your babysitter is within driving distance. Finally, the visit to your family once a year during the holidays requires a flight. The idea is to design your life in such a way that, like on a property, you are spending most of your time in zones 1 and 2, the areas that you need to visit on a daily basis.
Check out these resources here:
Pedaling towards a healthier planet
The City Repair Project
Solar and wind power
Because there is so much information already available about solar and wind power, I did not go into detail in this module about those technologies. Before deciding on either, however, remember that solar panels and wind turbines represent a lot of embodied energy.
Put some thought into whether they are the most appropriate solution to your energy problem. Are there other technologies or design fixes that you can adopt first?