Making meaningful changes to your daily travel can help to address climate change while improving your life, too.
Doing everyday journeys without a car can have a greater impact than you might think. Even a short drive can significantly add to traffic congestion and pollution. Not only that but it wastes fuel, adds wear to your car and can leave you feeling stressed and tired.
There are lots of ways to avoid the car. Walking or riding a bicycle are great ways to stay healthy and avoid the expense of driving while also minimizing your carbon footprint. For longer journeys, taking the bus, train, or using a carpool can minimize pollution while also taking the stress out of the trip (you don’t have to worry about road dangers and parking, and can pass the time with an activity you enjoy like reading). And if a personal car is essential, you can always switch to using an electric or hybrid vehicle.
However you choose to do it, making changes to the way you get around can cut your emissions, improve your neighborhood and leave you feeling healthier and happier.
23 gigatons of emissions is equal to the annual emissions of 2.3 years of operations for all coal power plants operational on earth as of 2019.
Choosing a bike over a car just once a day reduces an average citizen’s carbon emissions from transport by 67%.
Cycling for 30 mins burns 210 cal or more.
Light-duty vehicles driving in large [metropolitans] cause higher health impacts per mile...than those driving outside them.
Projections of hybrid and electric cars indicate they could account for two thirds of all new vehicle sales by 2040.
The daily average distance in private motorized vehicles is 7.7 miles / 12.8 km.
Walking improves muscular fitness, bone health and reduces the risk of depression.
Impact metric calculations
To determine the carbon emission reduction estimates related to switching to greener forms of transit such as electric and hybrid vehicles, train, bus, carpooling, walking or cycling, the following calculations were performed:
Fossil Fuel Car: (miles/week) / (miles/gallon) x (kg CO2e/gallon) x (weeks/month) = kg CO2e/ month Public Transit (rail/train, bus/coach), Electric and Hybrid Vehicles, Walking or Cycling: (# of journeys/week) x (miles/journey) x (kg CO2e/mile) x (weeks/month) = kg CO2e / month
Carpooling: (# of journeys/week) x (miles/journey) x (kg CO2e/mile) / (assumed carpooling occupancy) x (weeks/month) = kg CO2e / month
Total: Fossil Fuel Car – Lower Emitting Alternative = kg CO2e/month
For detailed calculations, references and assumptions, please see our Methodology.