All forms of transport that use fossil fuels produce carbon emissions. By changing our habits, and adapting the way and amount we travel we can help the environment.
Need to use the car?
- The most energy efficient journey is the smoothest one, with no hold ups, and no accidental detours.
- Avoid peak times wherever possible.
- Use a satellite navigation system or route planner to find the most direct route.
- Listen to the latest traffic information to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams.
- Change your driving habits
- Reduce drag - remove roof racks, biker carriers and roof boxes
- Check tyre pressure - under-inflated tyres increase fuel consumption and are dangerous
- Drive off from cold– warming up the engine wastes fuel and causes engine wear
- Check your revs - change up before 2,500 rpm (petrol and 2,000rpm (diesel)
- Slow down - it's safer, and reduces fuel consumption
- Step off the accelerator - when slowing down or driving downhill, remain in gear but take your foot off the accelerator. This reduces fuel flow to the engine to virtually zero.
- Drive smoothly - anticipate road conditions, avoid sharp acceleration and heavy braking. This reduces accident rates and saves fuel.
- Switch if off - turn off the engine when stationary for more than a minute or two. Modern cars use virtually no extra fuel when they are re-started (without pressing the accelerator), and switching off the engine will avoid further pollution of the atmosphere.
Why not consider:
- Co-ordinating your activities and fit them all in at the same time
- Reducing the distance by getting what you want locally?
- The alternatives - walking, cycling (if local) or catching a bus or train?
- Using the internet to find out information/ shop/ or work from home
Buy a ‘greener’ car
With rising fuel prices and the increase in road fund tax for larger vehicles it’s worth factoring in energy efficiency into the equation when buying a car, or consider buying a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Leave your car at home
Instead of getting into your car just to nip round the corner to the shops or school, why not walk, or cycle - it’s less stressful and healthier, as well as cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Some schools have introduced ‘walking-bus’ schemes
Cycling is not just for kids – rediscover the pleasure of 2 wheels. For tips on cycling to work or school and find out the nearest cycle route to you look at
Take the bus or train to relieve the stress and frustration of driving to your destination and then having to find a place to park. If you need to drive to a large town or city, consider using their park and ride systems to relieve city centre congestion.
FACT: If every car commuter used an alternative to the car on just one day a week car usage levels for commuting would be cut by a fifth.
Need to Fly?
In today’s society it’s not always possible to avoid flying, however you could:
- Choose a destination that’s nearer – it saves on emissions to stay closer to home
- Avoid stopovers as taking off and landing are the most polluting parts of a flight
- Consider carbon offsetting – pay a supplement which is then invested in a low-carbon initiative
(always read the small print carefully before using such a scheme)
The best way to cut emissions is only to take a plane when necessary.
Is your journey really necessary?
- Choose an alternative means of transport such as train, bus or ferry
- Have that meeting using video or telephone conferencing