ENVIRONMENTAL
INITIATIVE

car pollution

Reduce Car Pollution

Learn about car pollution, why alternative transportation to reduce car pollution is important, and how you can implement alternative transportation initiatives to reduce your fossil fuel dependency, car pollution, and reduce your eco and carbon footprints while saving money.

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What is Car Pollution and Its Alternative?

When there is a mode of transportation that that relies on burning of fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, natural gas), then this mode of transportation’s burned fossil fuels emit dangerous greenhouse gases (GHGs) – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide – into our atmosphere producing dangerous air pollution.

Unfortunately, the most popular form of transportation is the fossil-fuel burning vehicle.  In 2018, there were over 250 million registered vehicles in the U.S. alone.  Vehicles of which the majority are undoubtedly running on fossil fuels that produce car pollution that negatively impacts our environment and health.

Sustainable transportation is any type of transportation (land, water, air) that does not negatively impact our environment, society or economy. 

Sustainable transportation, therefore, is an alternative  to fossil-fuel transportation that is clean and able to sustain our society into a sustainable future. Examples of alternative transportation that is sustainable is walking, biking, or transportation that uses clean, renewable energy sources.

Why is it Important to Reduce Car Pollution?

As we know, we have based our most popular forms of transportation on the reliance of fossil fuels.  When fossil fuels are burned and release harmful greenhouses gases into our atmosphere, scientists have confirmed they cause global warming which has terrible side effects we are unfortunately becoming more familiar with such negative human health impacts and climate change. 

Human health impacts are seen in the forms of cancer or increased asthma cases, to name a couple. 

Climate change alone produces increased hurricane and flooding occurrences, melting ice glaciers, sea level rise, coral reef depletion, and drought, to only name a few.

The increase in human health issues cause higher medical and insurance costs, not to mention the stress and distress of taking care of failing loved ones. 

The side effects from climate change also have financial, emotional and psychological impacts to humans, such as home loss, human migrations, increased dependency on bottled water, increased insurance rates, loss of businesses and income, home rebuilding costs, etc.

As you can see, when the environment is negatively impacted by greenhouse gases, it has negative impacts on our society and economy. It’s a viscous cycle that will not end until we reduce, and eventually end, our use of fossil fuels and change our current modes of transportation to cleaner, renewable forms of energy. 

Additionally, city and community planning and design could improve to reduce the number of vehicles used by providing more pedestrian and bike paths, and clean forms of public transportation. 

In that vein, it’s beneficial to take a look at what sectors produce the most greenhouse gases.  The EPA chart below shows that the Transportation Sector accounted for 29% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.

EPA US Greenhouse Gases by Sector
Source: EPA, US Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector

How to Use Alternative Transportation to Reduce Car Pollution

As previously stated, when the environment is negatively impacted, it has negative impacts on society and economy. It’s a viscous cycle that will not end until we reduce, and eventually end, our reliance on fossil fuels for transportation and improve our access to other, more sustainable forms of transportation. 

Therefore, many benefits exist to reducing the amount of fossil fuels used, especially in the Transportation sector.  

The good news is that there are ways you can help now. From little to big methods of change, when implemented individually, they will accumulate for major, positive results towards reducing our negative impact on the environment, which will in turn, will reduce negative impacts to our health, well-being, and finances.

Many of these day-to-day changes are easy to do. They involve simple habit changes or changing the mode of transportation you use, or both. 

These can be done in different levels, if you will – from the easiest “low hanging fruit” methods (see lighter-colored boxes below), to more complex or up-front-cost methods (see darker-colored boxes below), that may have long-term health benefits and financial savings. If you want more tips and ideas, check out the Alternative Transportation Blog posts that are continually added for your convenience.

In any case, I encourage you to review these initiatives, pick some, and take the Car Pollution Reduction Challenge below!

Car Pollution Reduction Initiatives: How and Why

Walk

Ditch the car and walk to work or on your weekly errands.

Benefits:

Walking not only takes your car off the road, reducing the GHGs, but it is also great exercise that saves you gas, car insurance and car maintenance money. A triple win!
Read More >

Bike

Ditch the car and bike to work or on your weekly errands.

Benefits:

Like walking, biking does not produce GHGs and is also great exercise that saves you gas, car insurance and car maintenance money. Another triple win!
Read More >

Not using it? Turn it off!

If your vehicle is parked, turn off your engine. Texting and phone conversations do not require producing greenhouse gases. If need be, keep your battery on, but turn your engine off.

Benefits:

It's like turning off the lights when you're not using them. Turning off your vehicle's engine saves tons of greenhouse gases produced every year, saves our health, and also saves money. It's a no brainer.
Read More >

Carpool / Rideshare

Carpooling and using services like RideSolutions.agilemile.com to find a local carpool takes cars off the road.

Benefits:

Carpooling takes cars off the road, which reduces traffic congestions, stress, gas and infrastructure taxpayer dollars, greenhouse gases, air pollution, and your carbon footprint!
Read More >

Take public transportation

Like carpooling, using public transportation takes cars off the road.

Benefits:

Public transportation takes cars off the road, which reduces traffic congestions, stress, gas and infrastructure taxpayer dollars, greenhouse gases, air pollution, and your carbon footprint!
Read More >

Contact your legislators

Contact your local and state government representatives to demand better alternative transportation and infrastructure policies and regulations and better building codes.

Benefits:

When government provides policies, regulations and programs to the public, we all win in more choices for sustainability transportation methods and reduce our impact on climate change.
Read More >

Quit the drive-thru

Car engines running while stopped produce needless greenhouse gases

Benefits:

Leaving your car running to save gas is a myth. Drive-thru's save time is also a myth. Save gas, money, time, the environment and your health by going into the restaurant or store.
Read More >

Ask for alternative transportation benefits

Employers who provide alternative transportation benefits to employees promotes environmental work transportation options.

Benefits:

Employee compensation for walking, biking or taking public transportation to work allows employees more options to be environmentally friendly on their work commute and save money.
Read More >

Work from home

Telecommuting removes cars off the road every week day.

Benefits:

Employees save time, money and reduce their carbon footprint by not having to commute to work. Employers can save money on parking and other business overhead costs. Who doesn't love that?
Read More >

Present ballot measures

Don't think your local or state regulations are enough for protecting our environment? Present your ballot measure!

Benefits:

Organizations like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, and terrapass.com sell carbon emission certificates which in turn contribute to global community projects across to reduce GHG emissions.
Read More >

Use LED lightbulbs

Incandescent light bulbs can no longer be manufactured in the U.S. so why not get rid of the ones you have now? Change them all out for ENERGY START certified LED bulbs to save energy = reduce greenhouse gases = save money.

Benefits:

Worth the time, your own ballot measure could promote sustainable business and transportation practices and increased alternative transportation methods in your next election benefiting all for a long time to come.
Read More >

Ask for smart driving infrastructure

Petition your municipality and state leaders to install roundabouts instead of signal lights for safety, cost and environmental benefits.

Benefits:

Hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles produce less or no carbon emissions, improve air quality, and reduce gas and maintenance bills and climate change effects. Federal and state tax credits provide extra savings!
Read More >

Use LED lightbulbs

Incandescent light bulbs can no longer be manufactured in the U.S. so why not get rid of the ones you have now? Change them all out for ENERGY START certified LED bulbs to save energy = reduce greenhouse gases = save money.

Benefits:

Cars no longer stopped at signal lights and signs reduces drive time, gas consumption and costs, city electrical usage and costs, and vehicle carbon emissions produced.
Read More >

Relocate

Move closer to your work or where pedestrian and bike paths and public transportation are more plentiful.

Benefits:

Reducing any daily commute not only saves time and stress, but can also save on money, air pollution and more! If you no longer need a car think of how more more you could save!
Read More >

Take the "Car Pollution Reduction Challenge"!

Take the CORR Concepts “Car Pollution Reduction Challenge” by doing:

1. For those of you who drive a combustion engine vehicle (let’s face it – that’s most of us), take the pledge to turn off your engine when your car is parked (e.g., while texting or talking on the phone).  Get others to take this pledge as well!

2. Pick at least one more of the Car Pollution Reduction  Initiatives and implement them into your everyday life. Periodically, go back to remeasure your Ecological and/or Carbon Footprint to see if you’ve lowered your score. Keep adding more Car Pollution Reduction  Initiatives to your daily life to keep reducing your footprint!

3. Share this webpage to at least one person so that the sustainability message will spread and enrich and benefit us all.

What are you waiting for?

Measure your Ecological Footprint

Measure your Carbon Footprint

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