I walk longer routes to take in new surroundings

14 June 2021

BetterPoints user Sam tells us his story

Whilst Sam doesn’t own a car, he was wedded to using one for getting around Brighton & Hove. Here is what he had to say about how the BetterPoints app and the Move for Change challenge has shifted his travel devotions towards walking and cycling.

 Before joining the challenge, what were your travel habits like?

“Although I don’t own a car, I was still dependent on car travel. I would often use a taxi to get across town or if I was doing the weekly shop.

Sometimes you need a trigger to make a change in your life. The app has provided that by making me more conscious of how I travel.”

How has the app helped you to travel more actively and sustainably?

“It offers a great incentive to go out for a walk. I’m a sucker for the points, not so much for the financial value but for the competitive element. My girlfriend and I are constantly comparing who has got the most points or completed the most miles.

The messaging too serves as a useful reminder, whilst I find looking at the distance travelled and carbon offset figures really encouraging as well. They demonstrate that you are making a difference. I show these to my kids, partly because it is a game to them but also to support the idea that car travel doesn’t have to be the norm.”

How have your travel habits changed?

“I used to take around three car journeys a week, but it is down to zero at the moment. I am walking or cycling to places whenever I can.

I am walking to the local park to see a friend for a coffee, often taking a longer route to take in new surroundings and earn extra points!

Also, rather than continually having work calls over Zoom, I have been meeting up with colleagues that live locally to have walking meetings. They have been really productive.

I’ve also signed up to a veg box scheme, so I don’t have to buy my groceries in bulk from the supermarket. I’m doing smaller, more regular trips on foot or by bike, where I make use of the BTN bike hire.”

Have you noticed any health benefits as a result?

“Definitely from a mental health perspective - if I haven’t been for a walk I feel more restless and sleep worse. It helps me to get clarity on work issues. Problem-solving becomes a whole lot easier after a good walk.”

A big thank you to Sam for sharing his story with the BetterPoints community. He is our latest ‘Ditch the Car Star,’ and we would love more participants to share their story, so we are offering you a chance to win 10,000 BetterPoints too. Just look out for an invitation via the app to share your story in the coming weeks.