Managing your carbon footprint, which is the direct measure of how much greenhouse gas you emit in your daily activities, is one of the most frequently cited ways to participate in climate action causes. We’ve discussed a couple of other methods to reduce your carbon footprint before on this blog, including changing your diet and upcycling old belongings , but today we’ll be discussing one of the simplest ways to do so– through green transportation.
What is Green Transportation?
While the term “green” is often a buzzword meant to signify the environmental friendliness of a practice or item, green transportation doesn’t refer to a particular category of new and highly technological forms of transportation. The term green transportation refers to any form or transport, whether private or public, that does not cause any negative impact on the environment. Anything from your city’s metro to a rental scooter can be considered green transportation.
Why is it important?
As individuals, it can be overwhelming to think of how you can contribute to preserving the environment. Most of the time, it feels like only large and powerful entities can really make a change. And although that is also true, changing our small daily habits can really help minimise the damage to our planet and that includes Earth-friendly transportation!
What’s wrong with our current means of transportation?
Many of the world’s leading forms of transport use fossil fuels like oil and coal to function on a day to day basis. While for some forms, like trains, there has been a gradual shift to relying on electricity or renewable energy, many still use fossil fuels. This reliance on fossil-fuel based transportation makes a huge impact on our environment as more fossil fuel usage means higher greenhouse gas emissions, which means more rapid rises in global temperature.
So which forms of transportation are better than others?
Luckily, we now have more choices than ever if we want to reduce our carbon footprint by using more sustainable forms of transportation. In an article by Colorado State University, they listed down the carbon emissions of the most common forms and transportation and compared them with each other. Some of their findings were rather surprising, while others were more intuitive.
Unsurprisingly, the standard car which uses fossil fuels was the least environmentally friendly, having the highest emissions at 374 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. Hybrid and electric cars followed shortly at 257 grams and 161 grams respectively.
What was unexpected, however, was the finding that riding a horse is generally less environmentally friendly than taking the bus or the train. The horse came in at 135 grams of carbon dioxide per mile while the bus came in at 100 grams and the train at 88. Similarly, e-bikes and e-scooters were found to have less emissions than a regular human-powered bike, with the electric versions clocking in at 8 grams per mile and traditional bikes at 33 grams per mile.
The article explains that although horses and standard bikes are comparatively healthier for the environment than say, a traditional car, both horses and humans also emit carbon dioxide through other means. Horse manure is an additional form of emission, and the food that both humans and horses need for energy also contribute to their carbon footprint.
What if I have to travel far away?
While using an electric scooter might be practical if you’re travelling around your city or the next town over, it might not be such a wise choice if you plan to go overseas. Planes and ships emit way more carbon dioxide than any of the examples we’ve discussed so far, so what does that mean for us? Of course, with every situation, there are nuances that must be considered. IT would probably be way less comfortable and practical to force yourself on a bike to travel long distances. The most important thing becomes intention and habit.
It is important to evaluate your travelling behaviours and the choices that you make when it comes to moving from place to place. If you only travel once or twice a year, you shouldn’t feel so bad about taking an international flight. Conversely, if you’re a frequent traveller, maybe try using a ship on your next trip and avoid booking more expensive seats on the plane. We should still have the opportunity to enjoy seeing the world around us, and all of that is possible as long as we are mindful and conscientious in our decision making.
Moving from one place to another is such a normal part of our everyday lives that we tend to forget how much of an impact it has on our comfort as well as our surroundings. We hope that this article helped to shed some light on the choices that you can make to help keep our environment thriving. Which form of transportation do you think you’ll be using next time? If you want to learn more about sustainability and environmentally conscious living, check out our other articles here . be updated on appcycle and RINGO-TEX news, be sure to check us out on our official Facebook and Instagram accounts.