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.
- Try one of the following ways to get to work: cycling, walking, car-pooling, taking public transport, tele-working. On average, for each litre of fuel burnt in a car engine, more than 2.5kg of CO2 is released.
- Try to avoid short car journeys because fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are disproportionately higher when the engine is still cold. Research shows that one in two urban car journeys is for less than three kilometres - a distance that can be easily cycled or walked.
- Try washing your car by hand or using a pressurized water jet instead of going to a car wash. Car washes use more electricity and water than the old fashioned way.
- If you replace your car, consider the fuel economy of your new vehicle. Under European legislation, car manufacturers must display information about CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of new cars in showrooms and advertisements. A car that consumes only 5 litres per 100km, can save 750kg of avoided CO2 emissions year.
- Don't let your car warm up while stationary - the amount of fuel that warming up consumes is greater than what you save by starting your journey with a cold engine.
- Make sure you have correct tyre pressure: if the pressure is down by 0.5 bars, your car uses 2.5% more fuel to overcome the resistance and thus releases 2.5% more CO2.
- Consider using low-viscosity motor oil. This lubricates the moving parts of the engine better than ordinary oils, reducing friction. The best oils can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by more than 2.5%.
- Don't leave an empty roof rack on your car. This can increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10% due to wind resistance and the extra weight - removing it is a better idea.
- Don't speed - you will use less petrol and emit less CO2. Driving faster than 120km per hour increases fuel consumption by 30% compared to driving at 80km per hour. 4th, 5th and 6th gears are the most economical in terms of fuel consumption.
- Have you heard of eco-driving? It can lower fuel consumption by 5%. Set your car in motion without pressing down the throttle, shift to a higher gear as soon as possible and keep a steady speed. A return flight Berlin - Budapest causes 200-250kg of CO2 emissions per person.
- Use air conditioning sparingly, it increases fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by around 5%. When it's hot, drive for a few minutes with open windows, then close them and turn on the A/C. This will save you the fuel needed to bring down the initial temperature.
- Try to travel by train! One person travelling by car alone produces three times more CO2 emissions per kilometre than if this person were travelling by train.
- Explore alternatives to flying. Flying is the world's fastest growing source of CO2 emissions. If you fly, then consider 'offsetting' your carbon emissions. There are organisations that will calculate the emissions you have caused and invest money in renewable energy.
- Bicycles produce neither greenhouse gases nor pollution and are therefore the least polluting mode of transport.
- Going on a trip?
If getting there by car, instead of by train or bus, be generous and share the space. By taking other people who might have made their journey in a separate car, you're putting one less car on the road.
- When travelling, choose eco tourism.
Developing countries often gain little financial benefit from the influx of visitors to their shores. Only around 30 % of the money spent by tourists on their holiday remains in the host country. Eco tourism is promoted in some countries. For sustainable destinations, explore EU’s catalogue at www.eco-label.com
- Going on a longer trip? Choose wisely.
An average new car generates 160 g/km of CO2 equivalent per passenger, a plane 100 - 250 g/km, a bus 40 - 80 g/km, and a train 40 - 160g/km. If going by car, take as many passengers onboard as possible as it will reduce the CO2 emissions per person.
- Travel responsibly!
Fly only for distances greater than 700 km. Otherwise take the train. A transatlantic flight produces almost half as much CO2 as an average person produces over a period of one year while meeting all his or her other needs, such as lighting, heating and car travel!
Try our Carbon Calculator to see how you can make a difference and make a pledge.