We all know that in order to live more sustainable lives and help fight climate change, we must prioritize sustainable transportation. But, what does that look like?
Sustainable transportation is any type of transportation that has a net-zero or decreased carbon impact in comparison to diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles. The goal of sustainable transportation is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which are a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gasses. It can also benefit your health, and increase savings. By switching to sustainable transportation solutions, we can help make a difference one mile at a time. Let’s look at 5 modes of transportation that have a lesser environmental impact than traditional cars.
Electric Vehicles (EV)
This class of vehicles has become wildly popular in the past few years, and for good reason. Electric vehicles are a great way to reduce emissions and help the environment. They are also much cheaper to fuel, as the cost of electricity is less than that of gasoline or diesel (especially now with rising fuel prices worldwide). There are many different types of electric vehicles, from personal cars and trucks to buses and trains.
Today, fewer than 2% of cars on America’s roads are electric. But a seismic shift is underway. A recent Reuters study estimates that by 2035, about 45% of new car sales could be electric.
“The national average is 4,815 pounds of CO2-equivalent emissions for a typical EV per year as compared to the average gasoline-powered car which produces 11,435 pounds of CO2-equivalent emissions annually.” according to the US Department of Energy.
If you’re looking for a sustainable way to get around, electric scooters and bikes are a great option. Not only do they emit zero emissions, but they also require no gasoline or other fossil fuels to operate. That means they’re much better for the environment than traditional gas-powered vehicles.
This mode of transportation would be best suited for someone living in a city, or within close proximity to their workplace. Otherwise, another form of sustainable transportation would need to be added to supplement.
Bicycles are an ideal sustainable transportation solution because they don’t use any fossil fuels, or electricity (which still requires fossil fuels to generate in some cases) and they emit no pollution.
Bicycling is also a great form of exercise, which allows you to add healthy movement to your day-to-day routine. A few health benefits can include lowering blood pressure, increasing endurance, strengthening your heart, and losing weight.
Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV/FHEV)
Hybrid vehicles use both gasoline and electricity to power their motors. This can help to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency. While not as sustainable as a 100% electric vehicle, it is still better than gasoline only. A hybrid vehicle can utilize an electric motor and a combustion engine simultaneously or independently. As a result, you will use less gasoline and save money on gas purchases.
If you have a plug-in hybrid, you will spend less money to completely charge it than if you fill up your petrol or diesel tank. You can drive a hybrid car in the city for short trips solely on electricity. When traveling long distances, you may use both energy sources at the same time.
Last but not least, public transportation! This is arguably the best all-around mode of sustainable transportation, as it solves many issues all in one.
Most buses, trains, and metro systems are relatively inexpensive to ride. Especially when you factor in the savings on gasoline, car insurance/payments, tolls, repairs, and tickets for your personal vehicle.
2. Environmentally Friendly
By taking more cars off of the road, and moving more people with less energy, public transportation is very carbon friendly. Furthermore, cities across the globe are electrifying their buses, trains, and metros, reducing their impact!
A well-funded public transportation network has buses & trains running every 2-10 minutes (especially on busier routes). This means that most people can rely on these systems to get everywhere from work to friends places.
So clearly, using public transportation is a sustainable way to travel. It can reduce traffic congestion and save you money on gas. Fewer cars on the road mean less pollution and smog-filled days.
We all have a role to play in sustainable living. By making sustainable choices, especially in regards to how we get around, we can help make a difference for our planet. Every sustainable choice we make, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction!