Members of the Green party and Christchurch cycle advocacy group SPOKES will be giving away "Free Fuel" at an inner-city intersection this Friday, to mark World Car Free Day. Barron

BarronThe group will be handing out freshly-cooked toast to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians at the busy inner city intersection of Lichfield and Manchester Streets, along with information leaflets stating that "Toast Is Fuel!” and outlining the benefits of toast compared with petrol.

Greens spokesperson and SPOKES chair Paul de Spa says that conversion to toast can save motorists a lot of money. "Even with recent price falls, petrol is still nearly four times the price of toast, per kilometre. Three slices of toast, costing 30 cents, gives you enough energy to commute 5km to and from work by bicycle. Petrol for the same journey would cost $1.10."

“Once petrol prices start to rise again, as they inevitably will, we believe that more and more Kiwis will appreciate the benefits of toast as a fuel, as well as a delicious breakfast,” says Mr de Spa.

“World Car Free Day is an opportunity to challenge our transport habits. If everyone replaced one car journey per week by walking or cycling, we’d all be fitter and better off – and so would the environment.”

Groups such as the National Heart Foundation encourage us to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition and regular physical activity. I can think of no better way to fit these things into a busy lifestyle than by cycling to work or school, fuelled by toast,” says Mr de Spa.

So why is toast the best fuel? "Toast produces fewer greenhouse gases, is a renewable energy resource, and tastes a lot better than petrol."


For media interviews/photos/footage on the day come to the intersection of Lichfield and Manchester streets between 7.45am and 8.45am this Friday 22nd of September.
For further information contact Paul de Spa, Spokes Chairperson, phone 027 676 2824
For information on World Car Free Day see:

Toast vs. Petrol - The Facts

  • moderate cycling for 30 minutes a day uses ca. 150 calories[1]
  • at an average speed of 20 km/h, a cyclist can cover 10 km in 30 minutes
  • a medium slice of bread contains ca. 55 calories[2]
  • a loaf of toast bread costs ca. $2.20 and contains ca. 22 slices - a slice of toast bread costs ca. 10 cents
  • a 30 minute cycle journey can therefore be done on the energy from 3 slices of toast bread, costing $0.30
  • an average (1301-1600cc) car uses 0.073 litres of petrol per kilometre[3]
  • a 10 kilometre journey uses 0.73 litres of petrol
  • at $1.509 per litre, an average car uses $1.10 worth of petrol for a 10 kilometre journey
  • one third of car trips in New Zealand are less than 2km and two thirds are less than 6 km4.

1. Cycling Towards Health & Safety, British Medical Association, 1992, p.22
2. Heart Foundation
3. Automobile Association

Release Date: 
Wednesday, 20 September, 2006