Canadians Choose Driving over Sex and Candy

Photo: WWF
WWF-Canada survey reveals Canadians are more likely to give up junk food, sex and coffee before their cars

The driving paradox: more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of Canadians know their driving has a negative environmental impact, but they are not likely to give up their vehicles even when they could easily use other forms of transportation (75 per cent).  In fact, Canadians are more willing to give up their cell phones, TVs, Internet access, coffee, junk food, credit cards and for some, even sex, before they set aside their car keys. 

It’s time we challenged our unhealthy relationship with our cars. In Canada, transportation accounts for almost 30 per cent of our total greenhouse gas emissions – the main cause of climate change. Finding sustainable alternatives to driving, even if only a few times a week, can have a tremendous positive impact on the environment and people’s health.

Through a creative and engaging public awareness campaign, WWF-Canada will ask people to drive less for just one week by highlighting the personal and environmental benefits. By showing it can be easier and more beneficial than Canadians realise to leave the car at home, WWF-Canada hopes to inspire Canadians to rethink their driving habits throughout the year.

“I used to drive everywhere,” says Tiffany Bourré, reformed gas guzzler. “In December I gave up my car to cut costs, but was worried about the inconvenience it would cause. I was surprised to discover how convenient transit turned out to be - often it was even faster than driving. I've even started biking to work now which is great for the planet, and for me.”

From May 31-June 6, WWF-Canada is running Pin It for the Planet, a campaign encouraging Canadians to shake up their car routine and use active, sustainable ways to go about daily travels to work, shop, school and play.   WWF’s goal is to get as many people as possible out of their car, and then, as a sign of their commitment to the environment, are encouraged to wear their car key pinned to their lapel to signify their action and spark conversation with others.

“Taking transit, walking, or cycling are healthy and convenient alternatives to taking the car,” says Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF Canada. “No matter where we live in Canada, we can all find ways to reduce our dependency on cars – to save money, improve our health, and help the planet. If every Canadian left their car at home just one day a week, we would save about 4.86 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking about 800,000 cars off the road for a year.”

The Statistics:
According to WWF-Canada’s national survey, only 1% of Canadians would be willing to give up their cars.  They’d rather go without:

  • Junk food (36 per cent)
  • Credit cards (15 per cent)
  • Cell phones (15 per cent)
  • Coffee (14 per cent)
  • Internet (7 per cent)
  • TV (6 per cent)
  • Sex (2 per cent)

Three in four Canadians (76%) admit they will drive even if they could walk, bike or take public transportation!