Have you heard the news? Protect Our Winters Europe is launching a new mobility campaign across the continent for the entire month of March! Officially titled “POW Mobility Month 2023”, the campaign challenges the outdoor community to reduce their travel emissions by choosing more sustainable forms of transportation. What’s neat is that this challenge doesn’t only extend to people’s upcoming spring vacations; whether you are travelling to work, to your favourite outdoor location, or across international borders, all travel counts as we come together in the battle against climate change. 

What’s the Issue?
Transport is considered the Achilles heel of Europe’s journey to reaching carbon neutrality. Since the industrial revolution, almost all sectors have been able to reduce emissions, yet the transport sector has not. In fact, this sector has seen a 7% increase in total GHG emissions, specifically from 1990-2020. 
If we zoom in on the tourism sector, transport also stands out, representing 75% of this sector’s total emissions. It accounts for the largest share of a traveller’s carbon footprint, with the dirtiest sources being flying and private car journeys. Sadly, the outdoor sports industry is no different from other tourism. Transport to, from, and at the destination represents the most significant source of an individual’s emissions, making the industry both a contributor and a casualty of climate change.

What is Sustainable Transportation?
Sustainable transportation refers to modes of transportation that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have a minimal environmental impact. These include public transit, cycling, walking, and for some, electric vehicles. As long as it gets you from point A to point B with as little impact as possible, we count that as sustainable transportation! Here are some examples:

🚎 Bus
🚝 Train
🚴‍♀️ Bike
🛹 Skateboard
🛴 Kickbike
🏃‍♀️ Running

How Can I Get Involved in POW Mobility Month?
If you want to participate in the campaign and track your sustainable kilometres, you will need to download the Active Giving App (instructions can be found on our website). Once there, you join your local POW chapter, which will be your “team”. 
Across Europe, there are ten countries with a national POW organisation. Each of these organisations is called a chapter. The European POW chapters are POW Sweden, POW Norway, POW Finland, POW Germany, POW Netherlands, POW France, POW UK, POW Switzerland, POW Austria and POW Italy. If you don’t have a POW chapter in your specific country, you can join the one you feel the most connected to! Whichever team you choose, this is your chance to make a difference.
So while we wrap up the finals details of the campaign, here are some ideas to get your March off to a great start:

Plan ahead:
As much as we love the art of spontaneity, travelling sustainably requires some proper time, consideration, and planning. So put in the work and check out what transportation options exist in your region before leaving home, and see what sustainable option could fit your needs. If you want to get extra crazy, you can even search for eco-friendly accommodations. For example, some hotels and resorts use renewable energy sources, have environmentally-friendly waste management practices, and support local conservation efforts.

Use public transportation: 
If public transportation is available, consider using it instead of driving. This helps reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Often, discounts are given for students, young people, or when you purchase “in bulk” (a month pass, a year pass, etc.). Ultimately, the more people use public transport, the more your city, municipality or region will be willing to invest in and improve it.

Carpool or walk:
If driving is necessary, consider carpooling with friends or family to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Or, if your destination is close by, consider walking or cycling. Both are environmentally-friendly options that provide peace of mind (and perhaps some extra calories burned)!

Support sustainable transportation initiatives:
Support local and national initiatives that promote sustainable transportation options, such as bike-share programs and public transportation improvements. You can also participate in cool campaigns, like Mobility Month 2023, or donate to your local environmental non-profit organisation!

The Goal of Mobility Month
POW wants to promote behavioural and systemic changes towards our invaluable public transport systems and our active transport journeys. To support this value, the main goal for POW Mobility Month 2023 is to use sustainable transportation to reduce the outdoor industry’s carbon footprint. It doesn’t matter if you’re heading out on a ski trip, a biking adventure or doing your daily work commute. By joining the campaign and reframing your journey, you are improving air quality, minimising wildlife disturbance, reducing traffic congestion, and supporting local economies.

Sustainable travel is not just a trend; it’s a necessary step towards preserving our home’s natural resources and wild habitats. By making small changes to how we travel, we can create social shifts that impact the world around us. As a community of millions, we have the power to change our travel habits and minimise our transport emissions to reduce our impact on the places we love most. So re:route, re:imagine, and re:discover what it means to travel responsibly and pave the way for a greener (and snowier) future.


More information on POW Mobility Month 2023 is just around the corner! So keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming newsletter or on our social media channels. Here we will be sharing updates, links, important details related to the campaign, and the types of participation available, whether you are an individual, ambassador, brand or partner. Until then, feel free to check out our mobility hub, where you can find early inspiration to change your habits and reduce your carbon footprint.