Low carbon travel…

Lowering our footprint is going to be a mixture of finding new solutions, and going back to old ones. Sometimes new tech is good. Sometimes old works just as well. There, for example, are dozens of sites trying to harness the power of the internet to help us to car-share:

National Car Share
Lift Share
My Lifts

I’d be interested in hearing from anybody out there who’s used them. Are they easy to use? Does having to book in – sometimes days in advance – make life difficult? I’ve never tried it.

My friend, writer William Shaw, is going back to old-fashioned solution to the art of getting from A to B efficiently. He’s hitch-hiking. Remember that? You don’t need to arrange a ride days on the web, you just stuck out your thumb and go.

He used to hitch a lot as a student. More recently, driving back to visit his sick mother in Devon regularly last winter, he felt like having some company on the long ride, but never once came across a hitcher in all his many 200-mile drives. Hitch-hiking seems to have all but disappeared – here in the South, at least, which is a shame, because these days more and more cars seem to have only one person in them.

A lot of it’s to do with our sense of security, obviously. We trust people less these days. But to find out why hitching is all but dead in the UK, he’s going to try hitching from Land’s End to John O’Groats next week. It’s a one-person project to try and rekindle our faith in hitching – and to collect stories, which is something else he does.

It’s a long way; 875 miles. And single blokes aren’t often offered rides. If you see him looking bedraggled by the side of the road, give him a ride. Tell him Nigel sent you.