We love our cars. We think nothing of driving less than a kilometer to the bank, to school, the store or even from one parking lot to another at a shopping center. Over 18 million vehicles are registered in Canada, and the average car produces between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds of climate-changing, globe-warming carbon dioxide every year. As our waistlines — and our dependence on foreign oil — increase, the quality of our life and air decrease. But it’s not as if we are trying to pollute our environment or be less active, it’s just become second nature to grab the keys and go.
What can you do about it?
Park you car. Ask your self every single day – do I really need to take the car to get there? Think about how much you drive. Think about whether there are any ways you could change that. Look for opportunities in your week to walk, ride your bike, take public transit or carpool instead. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel. Walking and biking reconnect you with the world around you and make you healthier too.
Shop online. You can use up to 90% less fuel by ordering online and having your purchase shipped by truck instead of driving to the shopping mall.
Use public transit whenever possible. This is cheaper than driving everywhere and can be much less stressful. Leaving your car at home will have an immediate and direct impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Each year, a single city bus can take 40 vehicles off the road, save 10,646 litres of fuel, and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 25 tonnes.
Car and van pools are another excellent way to save money and reduce emissions. An average van pool of seven passengers emits about seven times less pollution per kilometer than drive-alone commuting. Check out http://www.carpooltool.com to find a car pool program in your area.
Bundle errands together. Take a minute before you leave home to plan multiple errands and map out your route. You can reduce your amount of driving time by planning meals in advance and reducing multiple grocery store trips, making lists so you donâ€™t forget anything, buying in larger quantities, asking other members of family or roommates if they need anything when you are going on an errand.
Challenge yourself & make it a game: how many times in a month do you fill your tank? Can you cut that back next month? How many times per day do you drive your car? Cut it back. How many times in a week? Cut it back! Get your family involved and have fun!
These tips came from:
Ecoholic, Adria Vasil
Green for Life: 200 Simple Eco-Ideas for Every Day, Gillian Deacon