Did you know that 5 trees are needed to process CO2 emission caused by driving 1 kilometer with a regular car? Greenhouse gases remain the main problem of environmental pollution in the whole world and most of this gas is emitted by the transport sector, more precisely – cars.
Considering that one of the main problems is the integration of the concept of the sustainable movement in society, a creative solution to the problem was proposed by the developers of the mobile walking app #walk15, based in Lithuania. If there are short distances you need to overcome in the city, the developers of the app invite you to do so on foot and thus join the virtual tree growing initiative.
“It is estimated that a car emits an average of 180 grams of CO2 per kilometer. As many as 5 trees are needed to absorb this amount of CO2 per day. We believe that in less than a few weeks we could see how changing our consumption habits and movement can positively reflect in the environment. For this reason, we invite you to join the virtual tree growing initiative, and each time you go to the store or work to think about whether you really need a car to cover the planned distance,” says Vlada Musvydaitė, the creator of the mobile app #walk15.
Thanks to calculations prepared by the specialists of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, users will be able to not only see the number of steps and kilometers walked in the mobile app #walk15, but also to assess the environmental impact of the decision to cover distances. The trees responsible for absorbing CO2 in our real environment are symbolically used for this purpose.
“After activating the app, the user will be able to see the number of steps taken and the number of virtual trees grown per day. Virtual trees give you a real sense of how strongly our daily actions respond to the environment. For example, while accomplishing 10 thousand steps or 7 kilometers per day, which is the recommended distance by the World Health Organization, we will grow 35 virtual trees in the app. This number corresponds to the number of real trees we would employ to cover a distance of 7 kilometers by car,” says the developer of the #walk15.
Sustainable movement is the way to lower ambient air pollution
According to Vitalijus Auglys, Head of the Pollution Prevention Policy Group of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, according to current forecasts, CO2 emissions from transport and agriculture will increase by as much as 6 percentage points in Lithuania by 2030, while the European Union a binding target for the Member States to reduce it by 9%. In this context, according to Vitalijus Auglys, raising people’s awareness and promoting sustainable movement is one of the main ways to achieve the goals of reducing CO2 emissions. It is also important in reducing carcinogenic contaminants that are hazardous to human health.
“The main goal for us and other European Union countries is to become a climate-neutral economy that is favorable to human health. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to transform all sectors of the country’s economy, with a special focus on perhaps the most polluting – transport sector. So, one of the most important tasks today is to promote sustainable mobility in society. We believe that creative and interactive initiatives, which are also easily understandable, such as growing virtual trees, are the most effective way to promote understanding of how much our daily habits affect the environment,” says Vitalijus Auglys.
According to the data of the Ministry, in 2018 over 20 million tons of CO2 were emitted into the environment only in Lithuania. It is estimated that about 30 percent of these greenhouse gases were generated exclusively by vehicles. For this reason, the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania and the creators of the #walk15 app invite you to cover short distances in the city on foot and thus become a part of positive changes in sustainable mobility in the region.
Everyone can count the steps and the grown virtual trees with the help of the free mobile app #walk15: