Footprint Futures

Footprint Futures
The key stage 2 and 3 eco-footprint teaching resource from the Centre for Alternative Technology
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Module 2: Transport

Pupils will find out about the varying impacts between different types of transport. They will discover that our current transport use is unsustainable, and be motivated to discover planet friendly transport solutions. They will find out something about the history of transport in their region, and some of the factors behind changes that have taken place. They will be able to use timetables to plan journeys, and will begin to develop interview skills. They will work together to make a sustainable regional transport plan.

  • Transport accounts for about 40% of our CO2 emissions in the UK.
  • Most of this is due to flying and driving.
  • Carbon dioxide released high in the atmosphere by planes does more damage than at ground level.
  • Trains have fewer emissions per passenger than cars and planes, buses and coaches fewer still.
  • Railways were built in Victorian times. They used to be coal powered and had a bigger carbon footprint than they do now. They were used to transport holiday makers to the coast and goods up and down the country.
  • Many railways have disappeared. This is due to an increase in road traffic, and because some railways for specific things like quarries were no longer needed when the quarries were closed.
  • Modern trains are diesel (most polluting) or electric.
  • Electric vehicles are probably the most sustainable transport future for the UK. A network of coaches will transport people long distances and most cars will be electric.
  • There are practical limitations on the amount of renewable energy we can exploit over the next few decades, which means we need to travel less and prioritise the most important journeys.
  • Even electric vehicles take energy and materials to make – we will need to travel less
  • Walking and cycling is low impact and better for our health
  • Survey skills – tallying, handling and interpreting the data
  • Using timetables
  • Interpreting maps
  • Sequencing of events – how and why the local transport history has developed
  • Beginning to develop interviewing, listening and recording skills
  • Beginning to develop regional planning skills
You will need
You are encouraged to acquire additional resources and materials to make the project relevant to your school. These are described in each activity and also listed here:

1. Transport Survey

  • Clipboards, pencils and paper

3. Getting About

4. Time Travel

  • Historical maps of your region

6. Mystery Guest

  • A visit by a member of the local community involved in transport issues – this person could be a representative from the rail network, or the bus station, or someone who runs a bike shop for example.

7. Regional Planning - Transport

Transport Survey Transport Survey
This short fieldwork transport survey can be done very close to the school. View >>
Transport Footprints Transport Footprints
This slide show introduces how we use transport and the impact it has. View >>
Getting About Getting About
This is a group activity using maps and public transport timetables. View >>
Time Travel Time Travel
A discussion about how transport in the region has evolved over time. View >>
Sustainable Transport Sustainable Transport
This slide show introduces some sustainable transport solutions. View >>
Mystery Guest Mystery Guest
This is an opportunity for the pupils to interview someone from the local community whose job involves transport. View >>
Regional Planning - Transport Regional Planning - Transport
This group activity allows the pupils to create their own sustainable transport plans for the region. View >>
Report Report
An opportunity for pupils to work in groups or as individuals to report on the days activities. View >>


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