More Information on Transitional Energy
Energy Solutions - Transportation
In the U.S. , cars are responsible for 25% of the greenhouse gases produced 20% of all greenhouse gases generated worldwide. Automobiles and other conventional motor vehicles are a major source of the pollutants that create smog and acid rain, damage the lungs, and release other harmful substances that exacerbate conditions such as asthma and heart disease.
What you can do
- If you are considering buying an automobile, look for a more fuel-efficient, less polluting model think about trading in that old gas guzzler for a more fuel-efficient car. A vehicle that gets 20 miles to the gallon will emit about 50 tons of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Double the gas mileage and you cut the emissions by half. Investigate the many new ultra-clean alternative fuel vehicles available. Reconsider extra features such as automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive they are often unnecessary and eat into gas mileage.
- Cut driving miles: Each gallon of gas your car burns releases about 22 pounds of atmospheric-warming carbon dioxide. Cutting your driving by just five miles each day would contribute to keeping tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air.
- Carpool: If every car carried just one more passenger on its daily commute, 32 million gallons of gasoline (and the pollution produced by using it) would be saved each day.
- Leave the car at home : Get in the habit of riding buses or trains as often as you can. For short distances, ride a bike or walk whenever possible (think of the people you can meet and what good shape you'll be getting into.)
- Encourage dedicated streets for bicycles and pedestrians: Encourage politicians and civic leaders in your community to demand bike lanes and pedestrian malls, and push for traffic-calming techniques like speed bumps, raised crosswalks and extended and widened sidewalks. The more pedestrian- and bike-friendly an area is, the more people will walk and ride and the less they'll drive. This means less congestion, less energy consumption, less pollution.
- Demand that automakers put 'earthsmartcars' on the road.
- Keep your car in good condition: Get your engine tuned up regularly, change the oil, and keep the tires properly inflated. Regular maintenance improves gas mileage and performance, reduces emissions and will extend the life of your car. Under inflated tires, a clogged air filter or a poorly tuned engine will reduce your fuel economy and generate more air pollution.
- Be sure your wheels are properly aligned and your brakes properly adjusted to minimize rolling resistance.
- Check and replace the air filter regularly. Your car's air filter keeps impurities in the air from damaging internal engine components. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter improve your fuel economy, it will protect your engine. Clogged filters can cause up to a 10% increase in fuel consumption. Studies have shown that a poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10-20% depending on a car's condition. By following the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner's manual, you will save fuel and your car will run better and last longer.
- Practicing fuel efficient driving techniques can improve fuel economy more than 10%. In highway driving, over 50% of the energy required to move your car down the road goes to overcoming aerodynamic drag (pushing air out of the way). As you drive faster, aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance increase. As a result, at speeds above 55 mph, fuel economy decreases rapidly. By driving 65 mph instead of 70 mph, you'll save gas.
- Avoid Unnecessary Idling: Warming up your car isn't necessary for most cars today. No matter how efficient your car is, unnecessary idling wastes fuel, costs you money, and pollutes the air.
- Combine errands into one trip: Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance as when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and efficient.
- If you can stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours, you'll spend less time sitting in traffic and consume less fuel.
- Telecommute if your employer permits it
- Take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. You can cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save wear on your car if you alternate driving with other commuters. Many urban areas allow vehicles with multiple passengers to use special HOV lanes.
- Consider using public transit.