How to reduce your carbon footprint over Christmas

After being forced to spend a long time apart over the last couple of years, it’s only natural that people all over the region are gearing up to travel and see family for the Christmas period.

While active travel might not be feasible for some of the journeys people make at this time of year, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make those miles back and reduce your carbon footprint once you’ve arrived at the place you’re spending Christmas.

Use the #GoSmarterGoActive walking and cycling maps of the region

Walking and cycling are brilliant ways to get around your hometown, whether that be for quick journeys to the shops, to visit family and friends or travel to Christmas parties!

The Go Smarter, Go Active interactive walking and cycling map is a brilliant tool to help plan your active journeys all year round. It allows you to enter your destination and then plots the best route to get you there. It even includes traffic free routes and shows public transport stations and interchanges- perfect if you’re making hybrid journeys.

Take a look for yourself here: Cycling and Walking Maps – Go Smarter (

Check public transport ahead of time

If you’re planning on cycling for part of a journey, it’s good to know that some off-peak Metro services and some X-line Go North East buses also carry standard (non-folding) bikes. It’s best to check ahead of time for both Metro and bus services as specific zones and times apply to bikes in some cases. 

The Shields Ferry and the Tyne Pedestrian Tunnels are also bike-friendly!

Remember that if your journey is too long to walk or cycle, then public transport is the next best thing for the environment.

Exercise in the great outdoors

While many people will be travelling to their local gym in the lead up to Christmas to make extra room for Turkey and the trimmings, we’re encouraging people to ditch the car and walk and cycle instead.

Not only are walking and cycling great low- impact forms of exercise, these activities allow you to spend quality time with friends and family in an active way during the festive period!

The impact

Every active travel journey we decide to take really does make a difference and if everyone swopped one car journey to walking or cycling during the festive period, we’d see a marked improvement in the region’s air quality and the amount of carbon emissions in the air- and isn’t that what what we really want- to protect our local environment? We certainly think so!

Learn more…

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