Win £5 by inspiring others to switch to healthier and greener travel habits
The Changing Steps Cardiffchallenge allows everyone who works or studies at Cardiff University to earn BetterPoints and win prizes for walking, cycling and using public transport. One such prize is the 'Sustainable Travel Star'. Emelye was chosen as our latest winner and received 5,000 BetterPoints (£5) for sharing her story. For your chance to win £5, download the app via the buttons or QR code at the bottom of the page!
After a few years in the working world, Emelye has returned to study at Cardiff for a mental health nursing degree. With the help of the Changing Steps Cardiff challenge, she has improved her fitness to the point where she’s doing a 10-mile round trip to campus on her bike. Here is what she had to say:
Before joining the Changing Steps challenge, what were your travel habits like?
“I can’t drive so my fiancée was driving me to the hospital and picking me up again.
I’ve always had a bike wherever I’ve been, but my fitness wasn’t what it used to be, so the 5 mile commute just felt too far to start with.
However, in the summer I took the opportunity to give cycling a go and I’ve gradually built up my fitness. Currently I am getting a lift in with the bike in the car and then I cycle home most days.”
How has the app helped you to travel more actively and sustainably? What features do you enjoy?
“It is motivating to see the different numbers going up over time right? I just received a reward for cycling a certain distance, which made me feel really good!
The sense of achievement that it offers does make a difference. When I have ridden home on a horrible day and I’m soaking wet I’ll initially ask myself, ‘was it worth it?’. But when you check the app and see how many calories you’ve burned, the CO2 emissions saved, it makes it feel worthwhile.
The little bonuses keep you encouraged. For instance, just walking across Heath Campus can be enough to earn you a ticket into a prize draw.
As someone who is trying to improve my fitness, the fact you can get a free class at the university gym on the app for just a few hundred points is motivating too.”
How have your travel habits changed?
“When I first cycled home it took me 2 and ½ hours! Now I can do it in 40 minutes. I’m really thrilled with my progress.
And, for the first time the other day I cycled both ways, so didn’t use the car at all.”
Have you noticed any benefits as a result?
“Cycling gives me independence, which I enjoy. As I start to cycle there and back all of the time I won’t have to rely on my partner, so I can have a lie in if I want to!
It also means he’ll go on his bike. We’re saving a good 15 miles worth of petrol on those days. As a mature student with limited financial support this is really valuable.
There is a lot to take in from my lectures and the bike ride gives me time to process it all without the distraction of my phone. When I arrive home, I can afford to switch off and relax.”
Anything else you would like to add?
“Having shower facilities and so many bike racks at Heath Campus, as well as the cycle paths across Cardiff, makes it all the more encouraging and straightforward to cycle. I feel lucky to have them.”
Not yet earning rewards for walking, wheeling, cycling and taking public transport to campus? To join Changing Steps Cardiff simply download the free BetterPoints app via the buttons or QR below, register with your cardiff.ac.uk e-mail, and tap Challenges to get started.