As we all know, cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles aren’t the best friends of the environment. However, for many of us it’s simply not practical to depend strictly on mass transportation or make the switch to an all-electric vehicle. As a green-thinking member of society, where does that leave you? What should your stance be on driving with relation to sustainability?
As we all know, cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles aren’t the best friends of the environment. However, for many of us it’s simply not practical to depend strictly on mass transportation or make the switch to an all-electric vehicle.
As a green-thinking member of society, where does that leave you? What should your stance be on driving with relation to sustainability?
The impact of cars on the environment
It’s useful to start with a firm understanding of the issue. What is the full impact of cars on the environment and how does that translate to long-term sustainability?
Here are some of the specific areas where motor vehicles have a negative impact:
• Global warming. Cars burn a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, and other compounds. When they’re operating, these compounds become oxidized and generate CO2. With no effective filter for the CO2, these emissions end up in the air and contribute to overall global warming. In fact, car emissions reportedly account for around 30 percent of all global warming emissions.
• Ozone depletion. Car air conditioning systems have compounds that actually form halogen-free radicals. These radicals have the ability to break down and reduce ozone in the atmosphere. Ozone, as you know, is a big part of our protection against ultraviolent radiation. While one car wouldn’t have much of an impact, billions of cars combine to have a substantial effect.
• Smog and acid rain. Sulfuric and nitric acids are the two main components of acid rain. Unfortunately for society, car engines cause a reaction between nitrogen and oxygen, which results in dangerous compounds that play a role in the formation of smog and acid rain.
Tips for reducing your car’s impact
Whether you drive a new Porsche or an old beater, there are ways you can become a more responsible and eco-friendly driver. Take a look at some of the top methods:
• Trade for a fuel-efficient vehicle. One of the best things you can do is trade out your gas guzzler for a fuel-efficient alternative. The EPA and DOT believe that, if certain fuel-efficient standards were to be followed by everyone, the United States could reduce its oil dependency by 3 million barrels per day.
• Learn to love carpooling. It may be time to get over your solo ride to work, whether you prefer the quiet or blasting your favorite tunes.
• Work from home. What if you could cut 20 percent of your weekly driving time simply by working from home one day each week?
• Check your tires. One of the most overlooked elements of your vehicle may be tire pressure.
Continue reading at ENN affiliate, ClickGreen.
Car image via Shutterstock.