Transport

Transport, including personal vehicle use
and air travel, accounts for about a third of the average household's greenhouse impact. In addition, burning petrol in engines produces exhaust that contributes to air pollution. This is the urban smog, which we see and breath in Australia's larger population centres.

Reducing our transport emissions
helps us reduce our climate impact
and our contribution to unhealthy
smog, with the side benefit of
saving petrol and saving money.

Ways we can reduce transport impacts

  1. by planning our travel and time better
  2. by practicing greener driving habits,
  3. by favouring green machines over gas guzzlers, and
  4. by offsetting the emissions of travel we can't avoid.
  • Reducing car use - Think about transport when moving house and try to live close to school or work, or somewhere that allows convenient public transport. Car-pooling can also reduce the number of cars on the road and the total number of kilometres travelled, contributing to air pollution. See if you can do multiple tasks or errands in a single trip, eliminating a short trip or two. Remember that each litre of petrol saved cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 2.8kg.
  • Reducing flying time - The same rules apply for air travel. See if you can eliminate any unnecessary air travel (particularly for work) by organising several meetings in one trip, rather than spreading meetings out over time and taking return flights for each. Depending on your work, you may even be able to replace face-to-face meetings with tele- or video conferencing.
  • Greener driving - For those who have a car and need to use it, you can practice smoother, more fuel-efficient driving habits, such as smooth acceleration and deceleration, avoiding stop-start aggressive driving, avoiding carrying unnecessary
    loads and taking measures to reduce your heating and airconditioning needs (see The Green Garage chapter of Greeniology for more eco-driving tips). Make sure you car is also well-maintained and the tyres pumped up to ensure that it drives efficiently.
  • Buying a car - When the time comes to replace a car, you have a unique opportunity to dramatically reduce your petrol use, petrol costs and emissions from car use. Don't buy a car without considering the tested fuel consumption figure. The Green Vehicle Guide gives cars a star rating based on their fuel economy and the level of air polluting emissions they produce. Take a look at the guide and aim for a 5-star car.
    www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au
  • Offsetting emissions - Finally, consider offsetting your transport emissions, but remember that it's far better to first reduce your transport emissions to ensure a healthy local environment as well as a healthy global environment.