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Think before you drive

Walking is not only good for you; it helps the environment as well. However, we all need to use transport every now and then, so when we do, it's important to make the right choices to save CO2 emissions.

 

Transport is responsible for around a quarter of EU greenhouse gas emissions. It is the second biggest greenhouse‑gas emitting sector after energy.

EU policies aim to reduce these emissions. But you too can significantly reduce CO2 emissions by making smart choices

Walk!

Leave your car at home

For each litre of fuel burned in a car engine, more than 2kg of CO2 is released.

  • Cycling, walking, car-pooling, car-sharing or taking public transport are good alternative ways to get to work. A typical car is driven for only about 4% of its lifetime, staying parked for the remaining 96%.
  • Avoid short car journeys. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are disproportionately higher when the engine is still cold. Research shows that 50% of urban car journeys are less than 3 kilometres.
  • Take the train. One person travelling alone by car produces 3 times more CO2 emissions per kilometre than if they travelled by train.
  • Explore alternatives to flying. Flying is the fastest-growing source of CO2 emissions from transport. A return flight from Berlin to Budapest generates 200-250kg of CO2 emissions per passenger. Going a few hundred kilometres or less? Consider taking the train.

If you must drive...

  • Remove your roof rack. An empty roof rack increases fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10%.
  • Drive slower. A speed of more than 120 km per hour increases fuel consumption by 30% compared to driving at 80 km per hour. You use less fuel in 4th, 5th and 6th gear.
  • Turn off the air conditioning. It increases fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by around 5%.
  • Buying a new car? Choose one with good fuel economy. Car manufacturers have to display CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of their cars in showrooms and advertisements.

Go green

  • Consider 'offsetting' your carbon emissions. There are organisations that will calculate the emissions you have caused and invest a corresponding amount in renewable energy.
  • Think about eco-tourism. Explore the EU’s catalogue of Ecolabelled accommodation for sustainable destinations.
  • Book an environmentally friendly hotel that uses low-carbon technologies, like LED lighting, geothermal energy and heat transfer devices. You could reduce your carbon footprint by 90% compared to a traditional hotel.
 

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