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.
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
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.