When it comes to traveling, avoiding the car is maybe the best way to reduce carbon emissions. Public transportation, biking or walking are potential alternatives. If none of these options are available and you have to use a car to get around, there are still several things you can do to cut down on CO2. If you're looking for a new or used car, do some research to determine the most fuel-efficient vehicle you can afford. If you find you're stuck with the car you have, you can make better driving choices by stepping lightly on the gas and brake pedals and avoiding hard accelerations. Another factor to consider is that the more weight your car carries, the harder the engine will have to work and the more fuel it will burn, so unload your vehicle as much as possible before taking it for a spin.
Making sure your car is well-maintained is also important. The better shape your car is in, the more fuel-efficient it will be -- as a side benefit, it may be worth more and safer on the road, too. A well-maintained engine will last longer, and any time you change your oil you should also check your air filters. It's also a good idea to check your tire pressure often, since poor inflation adds wear on your tires and can reduce fuel efficiency.
On your way to work, you can also carpool, sharing the ride with several coworkers. And when you're at the office, pay close attention to the amount of power you're using. Most offices use laptop computers, but people don't always turn them off or place them in standby while they're away from their desk. You can also unplug power cords when computers aren't in use or use a power strip to better control the flow of electricity.
And wherever you are, whether it's at home, at work or in the car, make an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle. This helps in the long run since it cuts down on the amount of resources we have to use in order to make new products.
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More Great Links
- CarbonFootprint.com. "Reduce your carbon footprint." (Feb. 23, 2009) http://www.carbonfootprint.com/minimisecfp.html
- CarbonFootprint.com. "What is a carbon footprint?" (Feb. 23, 2009) http://www.carbonfootprint.com/carbonfootprint.html
- MotherNatureNetwork.com. "What are carbon emissions?" Feb. 9, 2009. (Feb. 23, 2009) http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-change/stories/what-are-carbon-emissions
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Climate change: greenhouse gas emissions." Sept. 19, 2008. (Feb. 23, 2009) http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/index.html
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Climate change: what you can do." Feb. 18, 2009. (Feb. 23, 2009) http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/index.html
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Household Emissions Calculator." (Feb. 23, 2009)http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator2.html