Eco Tip #2

Welcome to the second installment of our Eco tips where we will walk you through how to sign up to Modeshift STARS and make the travel to your setting(s) more sustainable!

Cars are a significant source of harmful air pollutants (e.g., carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter 10 and 2.5). Air pollution causes between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year in the UK as well as having various health effects. Surprisingly, cycling to school has been shown to reduce the exposure of kids to harmful air pollutants, when compared to walking and driving. This is because the pollutants released by other vehicles on the road are trapped within cars, turning it, essentially, into a ‘toxic box’. As well as helping to reduce air pollution, meaning we all get to breathe cleaner air, active travel (walking and cycling) can also have a myriad of benefits, for people’s health, wellbeing, and the environment. The transport sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK (27%), and therefore a leading cause of the climate crisis. If we are to tackle the climate crisis, it is essential to change the way we travel. That could be through switching to electric vehicles, but this fails to address other transport related issues, such as congestion, lack of green spaces or pedestrian unfriendly towns and cities. Since cars are stationary for the vast majority (95%) of their lifespan, by having fewer cars and utilizing active travel more, we can free up space for wildlife, children to play and social areas. More green spaces can even help keep cities cool and reduce the risk of flooding.  Furthermore, active travel has significant benefits for our physical health – ensuring we stay active and get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week. Staying active has been documented to reduce the risk of many serious illnesses. Cycling to work has been shown to reduce stressanxiety, and even help you feel calmer as it promotes mindfulness and focusing on the moment.  Whilst walking can improve your sleep and reduce your risk of depression by as much as 30%. Walking through green spaces has additional benefits, helping you feel more relaxed, lead to increased confidence and self-esteem, as well as allowing you to reconnect to the natural world
Today I will walk you through how to sign up to the Modeshift STARS scheme, which is recommended to help progress on your sustainability journey for Transport and Trips.
Modeshift STARS aims to help support your efforts in increasing the levels of sustainable and active travel of your staff and parents by assisting with:

  • Creating, developing, and implementing Travel Plans
  • Monitoring and evaluating Travel Plans and the initiatives contained within them
  • Recognising and rewarding excellence in the promotion of sustainable and active travel

To begin your registration you need to fill out the contact form on the website. The images below show how you can find the contact form on the Modeshift STARS website – click the images to be taken to the corresponding pages.



When you have filled out the contact form on the Modeshift STARS website, someone from the travel team at your local authority will contact you to help you complete your registration. Unfortunately, nurseries aren’t covered by the Department for Transport (DfT) grant, like schools are and so a one-off payment of £30 will be required to sign up each nursery. However, some council do subsidise the cost and so it is worth contacting them to see if the fee can be waived. From the personal experience of several of our Eco champions, the Local Authorities have been incredibly helpful with getting set-up with Modeshift and providing a wealth of resources to help with the travel and supporting initiatives.

Once you have completed your registration, you will get access to the Modeshift STARS portal, where you will input all your information and  work through the different steps of the scheme. By clicking the button below you can find the Modeshift STARS guides on using their portal as well as how to add and update initiatives – these guides can also be found on the portal under the Guidance and Resources tab.

To help you get started we have also created a customisable copy of a no-idling poster, that you can add your logo to and display at your setting, as well as some printable 35mm stickers for children who scoot or walk to and from nursery (you just need to get some sticker paper such as these) – both of which can count towards your travel initiatives!