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Member Home > Green Living Certification > Do more
      
Green Living Certification
Chapter 5 - Do more
Page 2 of 3

5.1 Your Vehicle


Now, we already discussed this a bit, but vehicles are a major contributor to pollution, fossil fuel emissions and the advance of global warming.

A recent study of Australian motorists by the AAA found that almost 80 percent of those surveyed believed that automobiles contribute 32 percent to Australia's overall contribution to the Greenhouse Effect. In fact, the AAA says, automobiles only contribute about 8 percent, and come in third behind power plants and agriculture.

In most developed countries, that split is about the same - power generating will almost always be the primary pollutant, with cars not far behind. In the United States, overall emission from vehicles have decreased a bit in recent years, but are still higher than 1990 levels and account for as much as 45% of the country's emissions.

And now, here's the rub. Although we can try to consume less energy, there's little way we can feel as if we are having an impact on our contribution to the reduction of fossil fuels other than working on our transportation choice.

In many parts of the world, people must use cars to get from point A to point B. Either mass transportation is not available at all, or it is not available widely enough to provide primary transportation for the country's residents.

So, what can you do? Since this is a chapter dealing with more dramatic changes you can make in your habits to affect change, how about these ideas: Buy a smaller, non high-performance car; drive less; use public transportation when you can; and carpool whenever possible.

For many people, these constitute big changes, particularly in America where people are less likely to use public transportation and are loyal and dedicated to their cars (often of the gas-guzzling variety). What difference can you make? Let's look at some numbers.





According to one study, one American switching to mass transit for a year could result in big impact - the reduction of hydrocarbons by 9 pounds and the reduction of carbon monoxide by 62 pounds.

In fact, for each full, 40-foot long bus you see, that's 58 cars off the road. And although we know buses aren't environment friendly, one bus equals fewer emissions than those 58 cars.

If you still want to drive, but are willing to make a major change there, consider purchasing a new car.

You have two choices - you can buy a hybrid car or you can purchase a smaller car than you currently have. The best option is to purchase a small hybrid car. That's surely the best of both worlds, but many more makes of larger vehicles are being offered in hybrid versions, so if you must have your large car (even a 7-passenger one), there are still environmentally friendly options for you.

Whatever you choose, be sure to do your research before purchasing (see our "resources" guide for some help here).




      


 
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  Green Living Discussion Board
Write your commentsLanguage and Content Guidelines

 By: RAYMUNDA on Apr 8, 2008
  IAM DEFINITELY IONLY LIKE THE SUNDAY PAPER THIS IS HOW YOU LEARN ALOT ABOUT ANOTHER PERSON THE ONLY THING IS I HATE WHEN I DON'T HAVE THE PAPER BECAUSE OF THE DOGS, THEN WE HAVE THE FLOWERS THAT THE DOG LIKES TO EAT THATS WHEN THE RECYLNG COCMES IN NOTHNG S LEFT IAM GOING TO PLANT A TREE AND SEE HOW IT ALL COMES OUT.
   
 By: Randumb on Aug 12, 2008
  I have no idea what dogs have to do with that chapter. Although it may involve some personal expense, I definately like the idea of joining the advocacy groups. Anything that can get the government more involved in environmental conservation is good for the people and the planet.
   
 By: Melonie on Sep 12, 2008
  For those who want to get involved with local schools, the Edible Schoolyard program is growing by leaps and bounds. This is especially helpful in urban areas - if schools could get their students and families involved, then the surrounding community, in a schoolyard garden and then a larger community garden plot, a lot of areas would see wonderful effects on the local populace; the fresh produce would be the least of the gains, compared to health benefits and the enjoyment of a closer, possibly safer, community.
   

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