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A planet-friendly school run

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Author: Louise Williams, Posted: Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 09:00

As a Mum of two, a large proportion of my life is spent doing the school run, and I know I’m not alone in that!

The majority of children in the UK are in school for approximately 190 days a year, with two school runs a day. This means that, on average, we are either on the way to, or back from school, 380 times a year.

If your school run is ten minutes each way, that’s 7,600 minutes, or 126 hours sitting in the car, producing dangerous emissions, every single year... for each family!

What a terrifying thought for the planet. So what can you do? I’ve been looking at the many other means of getting to and from school.


Is it possible for you to walk? We can, it takes 25 minutes but is actually a really lovely way for us to start the day.

Pros: We chat as we go, talking about what the day has in store and taking in our surroundings, whereas in the car we usually have the radio on and it’s over very quickly. We can also take the dog, so that gets his walk out of the way too.

Cons: Often they have after school club and are tired when they finish. Also, it rains a lot here in the UK, which can result in a lot of moaning and complaining about get-ting wet!


I recently acquired an adult scooter, and they are a lot of fun and very speedy! If you don’t have a scooter, it’s still a great way to get some exercise in. I put my running kit on and jog along with the kids on their scooters (or behind them if I can’t keep up!)

Pros: This is much quicker than walking, meaning the school run is over and done with before you know it.

Cons: It can be hard work on your legs, as I discovered.


Have a look and see if there are dedicated cycle routes you could use to get to school. Do a trial run at the weekend to learn the route and check whether your school has bike racks to store them when you get there.

Pros: Helps keep you all fit, and is also much quicker than walking.

Cons: Better for older children, as the roads can be very busy in the mornings.

Public transport

Is it possible to get the bus to school and get there on time?

Pros: You don’t have the stress of driving in traffic, or cycling for that matter.

Cons: It can become expensive when you add up two trips a day for an adult and children.

If driving is the only option, why not see if there is anyone who lives near you that you could share a lift with. My friend will often take the children and I will pick them up. Talk to your school about setting up a car pooling group for this purpose so like-minded people can find each other.

And if none of the above options are viable, you can still help by ensuring that your car is regularly serviced, you keep your tyres well inflated and you combine jobs into one trip to prevent multiple short ones.



For more from Louise, visit her blog here: Pink Pear Bear

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