Aug 05 10
The widespread use of automobiles has significantly contributed to the growing problem of air pollution in the United State and around the world. While the use of public transportation systems and alternate sources of fuel will have the most profound impact on this problem, there are small, simple ways to reduce your environmental impact every day while driving.
- Carefully Plan Your Route: If you’re going to be making several stops and errands, map out the most efficient way to get around town that avoids backtracking and traffic. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, you can save time and money.
- Avoid Idling: The drive-thru epidemic has increased convenience but also increased pollutants. Turning your car on emits fewer pollutants than idling for several minutes. Many times the lines you wait in at a drive-thru take longer than it would to go inside. Except during extreme weather, turn off your car while waiting for your kids in the pickup line or for your spouse to run into the grocery store. When it’s warm, turn the car off and look for a shady spot to sit while you wait.
- Have Your Vehicle Serviced: Cars that aren’t well maintained get lower gas mileage, which means you will spend more money and contribute unnecessary amounts of pollution to the air. You can also reduce the amount of pollutants coming out of your car by replacing the air filter. Properly inflated tires and a properly tuned engine also ensure that you get the best possible gas mileage.
- Carpool: Communal Commuting is a great way to save everyone time and money and cut back on your carbon footprint. Get to know the neighbors or arrange a carpooling system with other parents at your child’s school and everyone will benefit.