TRANSPORT - QUICK TIPS
- Drive less. Carpool, combine trips, use public transport, bike, walk, and use technology instead of going in person.
- Fly less. Combine trips, vacation close to home, or use technology instead of going in person.
- Drive the most energy efficient vehicle you can.
- When you fly, minimize stops and travel in economy class.
Increase the occupancy of a vehicle. Carpooling splits up the carbon footprint of the ride, and maybe the cost of gas and parking too. The carbon savings are big when you are on the same schedule as others for work, school or teams. For social events, carpooling extends the fun and may provide a designated sober driver. After the initial effort to set up a carpool for kids, you will save time when it is not your turn. Public transport has even higher occupancy, and you can read or work during the trip.
Switch to a low carbon vehicle. Hybrid cars, or electric cars where the electricity is at least partially renewable, produce a fraction of the carbon for the same distance. Get the smallest car that works for you - for those that need more space only occasionally, a hitch-mounted cargo rack is cheaper and more fuel efficient than a bigger car. Newer cars often have better mileage. See the chart to compare the carbon footprints of different types of cars, including the carbon emitted during manufacturing the car and indirect fuel emissions from producing the fuel.
Make your existing vehicle efficient. Speeding and rapid acceleration use 33% more fuel. Use websites and apps to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Remove excess weight from your car. Maintain the motor.
Choose alternatives to driving. Biking and walking are the lowest carbon and good for your health. In some places these can be combined with public transport.
Live, work and play close by. People in urban areas travel shorter distances and use public transport more. Try to make choices that will reduce your regular travel distances.
What about flying? Flying is fairly efficient in terms of CO2e/mile, unless you travel in business class and split your emissions with fewer people. However, the distance covered in a single long trip results in so much carbon emissions that the same 1.5 tons of CO2e would get you:
The only solutions are to fly less and to purchase carbon offsets. Combine trips, stay close to home for leisure trips, and replace business travel with videoconferencing. If you must fly, take the most direct route and fly economy.