Walk to school campaign leaves big footprint
The small army of families walking to school in Kent has created enough carbon savings to power 1,000 homes for a year.
An in-depth report assessing the environmental impact of the Kent Walk to School Campaign has identified the carbon savings generated by the more than 30,000 children and their parents who walked to school last academic year.
Weekly surveys conducted throughout the year have helped the KM Charity Team to calculate that 230,000 school run car journeys were removed from the county’s roads in the period running from October 2010 to July 2011.
Science graduate Malcolm Montgomery from Whitstable then spent five weeks assessing the data and producing a report which has been named The Big Green Footprint.
His findings have revealed that the total equivalent carbon dioxide saving achieved last academic year was 163,762kg. This is equivalent to more than 10 times the weight of Big Ben or 20 London buses or 1,000 Sumo wrestlers.
The report highlights air pollution and noise reduction benefits from a further drive to increase the volume of families switching from the school run to green travel such as walking and cycling to school.
Simon Dolby, chief executive of the charity, said: “This substantial report shows that parents and schools can make a real difference to improving and protecting the environment of Kent.”
The Kent Walk to School Campaign is led by a partnership of organisations including Kent County Council, Medway Council and the KM Group, which helped found the walk to school charity. The Big Green Footprint report was funded by organisations including Veolia Environmental Services, Southern Water, Bel UK and construction firm Denne.
The partnership operate a trio of schemes including parent-led walking buses, the Walk on Wednesday scheme more commonly known as WOW, and Walking Bug.
The mascot of the Active Bug scheme is Buster Bug which lends its name to the green travel reward club used to promote the initiatives in the 200 participating primary schools.