By: Rayed Khan & Vinothan Siriranjan
For decades, transportation has been a major producer of carbon emissions and contributor to global warming. Reducing emissions when we travel and making better choices of how we travel is key in the fight against climate change.
Here are 10 pointers to help you to become greener and inspire others.
- Walk or bike as much as possible and avoid using cars to travel short distances!
Not only does avoiding cars help reduce carbon emissions, it increases physical activity and health. By walking, jogging or biking to your destination, you are reducing your chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. If you make this a habit, you will likely live healthier, longer and happier.
- Take public transit instead of cars!
Instead of multiple people riding in their own separate vehicles and generating a ton of carbon emissions, everyone can ride in one, which will significantly decrease the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.
- Car pool when you can instead of driving alone!
There are situations where taking public transit or the bicycle isn’t a good or viable option. Enjoy the ride by carpooling with people to reduce carbon emissions and to get the opportunity for some well deserved company!
- Make your car as efficient as possible!
Buying a hybrid car helps reduce carbon emissions by a lot. Hybrid cars are partly gas and partly electric cars. They use less gas than normal cars and don’t burn out of fuel as fast, so you can save money while helping the planet. They are not too expensive depending on the model and are a good investment.
- Avoid flying. If not use carbon offsets!
Flying can be inevitable when travelling long distances, especially overseas. Buying a carbon offset allows you to reduce your carbon footprint and impact. Carbon offsets usually cost a fraction of the ticketprice itself (unless you’re flying Ryanair). Imagine the impact if everyone who flew bought a carbon offset!
- Avoid using the air conditioning in your car when possible!
Avoiding the use of air conditioning is a small but important way to help make a difference by reducing energy use. Enjoy the breeze from your window!
- Go carless!
This is a major decision that may be feasible for some but certainly not others. Those who live in urban areas could benefit greatly from the options of public transit or bicycles and not give up the accessibility that cars offer. If you live in a rural or suburban area where the usage of cars may be essential, don’t give up by looking for options with carpooling and maybe even electric assisted bikes!
- Check the efficiency of shipping your mail!
Although this is often overlooked, even mailing produces carbon emissions, especially over long distances. Finding ways to reduce carbon emissions during shipment or offset them makes a big difference. This article may guide you.
- Get used to taking green transportation!
Going green while traveling can be difficult to get used to. However, taking public transit or a bike over gas-fueled vehicles is key to enjoying our commute and reducing our impact on the environment.
- Encourage others to practice using green transportation!
Just doing it ourselves is great but inspiring others to do the same is more impactful. If everyone does the same small and big things that help make a difference, it would make a lasting impact and aid our journey fighting global climate change.
Taking action is key. Inspiring others is also key. Do something today. Even if it is as small as keeping the air conditioning off or as big as purchasing a carbon offset. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Chinese Proverb