What is one of the greatest inventions in human history? Not surprisingly, it’s the wheel.
That ‘simple’ gadget that has given us the chance to transport goods and people easily all over the world. From farming to baby buggies, the wheel is used all the time without even appreciating its perfection. That event historically has led to another invention used by people every day: cars. And if cars are a necessary part for deliveries and people that cannot walk, let’s have a look at alternative ways of transport that we could use to help the Earth and that have revolutionised our world.
- Walking. There’s nothing simpler for people that are able to walk to do. Exercising keeps you fit, gives you the chance to enjoy some fresh air and you actually never have to worry how or where to park. Nordic walking is another form of walking that can take you out of your boredom. Also don’t worry: nobody will steel your two precious means of transport.
- Cycling. Cycling is getting more and more popular in urban areas. There are countries like Germany and Netherlands where the infrastructure provides safe, affordable and enjoyable alternative cycling from A to B. From lanes to traffic lights, cycling is supported there. If you are not sure about its advantages, just think of the blissful feeling that you get when you are not stuck in a traffic jam. In addition, more and more cities offer different hire schemes to encourage cycling.
- Human-powered vehicles. Old and classy method to travel. We know about the pulled rickshaws, those carts pulled by people, used mainly in Asia, but probably we are not so familiar with their more modern modification: the velomobiles, which are even enclosed in order to provide protection from bad weather. These bicycle cars can make you feel just like Flintstone.
- Animal-powered transport. Let’s not forget about the rest of the animals on the planet, not only people. Animal-powered transport is one of the oldest ways of transport. Horses are still used in mountain areas, llamas and donkeys as well. In warmer areas, camels and elephants are very popular, while in cold regions reindeer and dogs are people’s favourites. It’s interesting to know that in some regions like Africa and America people used to race each other on the backs of… ostriches.
- Skating and skateboarding, and all kinds of hipster style riding stuff (waves, freeboards, etc.). It’s fun, it takes you back to your childhood and precious memories and makes you look cool. It teaches you great motor and spatial skills too, because they’re not easy to learn at all: try to go on freeline skates next time!
- Skis, sleighs and snowboards. Probably we all admire winter sports, but it’s kind of forgotten that skis originally were intended as an aid to travel over snow. However, there are still winters that prove the importance of skis as a transport. Remember the crazy pictures of New Yorkers last winter?
- Water transport. On a planet where water is a miracle, let’s not forget about the alternative ways to cross it. It’s not only about transportation of people, but also of goods. In countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, where water levels are vital, floating markets are crucial for people’s lives. It’s important to mention that in war times great inventions such as submarines were used for not so great causes. And of course, let’s focus on the fun part of water transportation: swimming, water skiing, rings, jet skiing and many more, all that can take you on a summer holiday in your dreams.
- Air transport. As genius as the wheel. Makes you feel like a bird overcoming the laws of gravity. From planes, through parachutes, to old Zeppelins, there are so many variations of air transport that help people experience exceptional freedom close to the sun. Let’s not forget about the fact that air transport is still expensive though and that there is still inequality around the world: while business people can take a charter flight, there are people that cannot afford going on a plane at all. An example of that are the fake flights organised in India that never leave the ground, but show people the charm of aviation by just sitting in the aircraft cabin. Also let’s explore space travel – it takes you higher than air travel. Space exploration is a curious topic of research and films, which nowadays is available not only for scientists or day dreamers, but for someone… with some extra money. It’s well known that the company ‘Space travel’ has started to promote space tourism, so what can I say: let’s just hope that the prices will drop soon.
- And back to Earth: our favourite cars on four wheels. They definitely have changed the way we get from A to B: it doesn’t take you a week to visit your family that lives in the other end of the country, right? Before we say how bad they are, we should appreciate their importance and admit they can also be sustainable. How? Well, there are electric cars that are becoming more popular with their benefits over normal cars regarding their gas emissions.
- Till then, let’s talk about our favourite public transport. Trams, buses, trains, cable cars, all that has revolutionised the way we travel. Public transport might be crowded sometimes, but it gives you the opportunity to meet new people and interesting characters, just like safe hitching. It also, like carpooling, benefits the Earth by not sending extra carbon emissions to the atmosphere.
No matters what transport method you use to get from A to B, just don’t stop travelling.