Sometimes you need to drive, and sometimes you don’t. Walking or biking in place of driving reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases personal fitness, and adds to the sense of community as more people interact on sidewalks and bike paths. Currently 75% of all trips made only have one person in the car. This has a significant impact on our environment by producing smog and increasing CO2 emissions. Union City’s goal is to reduce the percentage of driver-only car trips 10% by 2020. Instead of driving alone, people who need to travel from home to work and back again can utilize one of the following options:
Once you make it a habit, it’s easy to make short trips on foot or on a bicycle. Walk your children to school, walk to a friend’s house, cycle to BART, cycle to the grocery store, etc. You’ll be doing something good for yourself and the environment!
Sometimes you need to travel further than your feet can take you. Instead of driving, you could take UC Transit or BART. You could also carpool: tag along with another driver traveling to the same place as you. Find a carpool or vanpool partner here.
Sometimes you really do need to drive, but you can reduce your transportation carbon footprint by making sure your automobile is running at maximum efficiency. Try some of these simple tips to make your vehicle more efficient:
- Simply cleaning out your car and removing extra items you’ve been hauling around, and tuning up your engine, changing your plugs, and cleaning filters will help your car run efficiently.
- Keep your tires properly inflated – the softer they are, the harder your car has to work to keep your wheels moving.
- Don’t idle your car if you’re stopped for more than a minute – you compromise fuel efficiency and produce more emissions while idled.
- Try not to go above 55 mph – you lose fuel efficiency when you go faster. Try to maintain a consistent speed, and don’t accelerate or brake too quickly. Your car will run more efficiently and you’ll probably hit more green lights.
What Can You Do?
- Use 511.org’s Trip Planner to see if trips you usually take in a car can be easily made by public transit or on bike or on foot
- Look into carpooling to work. Find a carpool or vanpool partner here: http://rideshare.511.org/
- Help your children take part in the Safe Routes to School program by walking or cycling to school