05.0 Driving & Flying

  1. Set concrete goals for reducing your travel.  (high impact)

4a. Driving:

  1. Walk, ride your bike, or take public transportation instead.  (high impact)
  2. Get a hybrid.
  3. Trade in the SUV or truck for a higher mileage car.
  4. Get a diesel engine and run it on local used cooking oil. Check out Tri-State Biodiesel, Fill Up for Free and Grease Car for more info.
  5. Use bio-fuel with caution.[1]
  6. Consolidate trips: don’t drive until you’ve got a few errands.
  7. If you drive to work, share your commute.
  8. Maintain your car’s fuel efficiency. Tune it up. Change the oil. Fix a cracked or missing gas cap. Strip the rack when not in use. Unload the trunk. Maintain recommended tire pressure.
  9. Drive the speed limit.[2]
  10. And stop driving like a maniac – those abrupt starts and stops can cost you up to 37%in fuel efficiency.
  11. Use cruise control on the highway.
  12. Avoid excessive idling.
  13. Don’t top off the fuel tank.
  14. Need a car service? Try NYC Green Car.

4b. Flying:

  1. Don’t fly.[3] (high impact)
  2. Take a train instead of flying.
  3. If you must fly:  Book direct flights.  One stop-over on a 3,500 mile trip will produce 25% more carbon dioxide than flying direct.  Fly in a newer, more fuel-efficient plane.[4] And consider buying carbon offsets to balance specific trips.
  4. The best frequent flier miles are those unspent. Donate your miles to the Red Cross, Make a Wish Foundation, the National Marrow Donor Program or a charity of your choice.

[1] Biofuels, — made from surgarcane, corn, palm and soybeans — were once thought to be a miracle, reducing greenhouse gases and employing farmers. Recent studies in Science and Nature conclude that when produced on converted lands, biofuels will effectively emit more GHGs than the fossil fuels they displace. Where farmers have changed from growing feed corn to fuel, no such problem exists. So the trick is to get your biofuel from properly managed land. New land use regulations will be required to insure that the use of biofuels fulfill their promise of net reductions.

[2] The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that for every 5 mph above 60, the decreased fuel efficiency costs $0.20 a gallon.

[3] Air travel currently contributes about 3 percent of global carbon emissions as well as nitrous oxide which has double the impact of CO2. Air travel is set to triple by 2030.

[4] Such as the Airbus A340 or A380 or Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

5 Responses to “05.0 Driving & Flying”

  1. Pamela Lonsinger Says:

    cool blog my car uses water fuel to drive here is a link to do the same: link

  2. Earl Killian Says:

    Two people in a Prius is actually 33% less CO2e/passenger-mi than taking Amtrak (120g/p-m vs. 180g/p-m). Not all public transportation is efficient. If it electric (trolley, light rail, BART), it is probably efficient. If it is diesel, it may not be (it depends on whether it is full or not).

  3. strangelyperfect Says:

    Don’t forget the air-powered car – a more efficient way of using and storing electric energy!

  4. kenlevenson Says:

    Thanks – I’ll add this.

  5. paulm Says:

    electric cars are here and now…in places of hydro and solar electricity these should replace others.

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