Friday, January 25, 2013

Greening your ride - more eco-friendly transportation

My husband is a huge fan of the Comex. Aside from the fact that it keeps us a one-car family he gets to relax and read his book on the way to the office. The added bonus, it keeps our family`s carbon footprint low.  

Transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and among all modes of transportation cars are the worst offenders. According to Saint John Transit, a single public bus takes 40 vehicles off the road during rush hour, reducing air pollutants by nine tones a year.


Taking your car off the road as often as possible has other benefits too. Think of what you’d save on gas, insurance and parking expenses. 
For $109 per month a Comex pass gets you unlimited travel between the Valley and town. Your monthly pass is tax deductible and there is a 10% discount available to companies with more than 20 employees. 
Taking your vehicle off the road is the ultimate in terms of reducing your transportation carbon footprint but carpooling is the next best thing. It still reduces overall emissions and saves money for everyone involved.   
If taking the bus or carpooling just doesn’t suit your schedule there are other ways to make your transportation more eco-friendly. 

Start by breaking the idling habit:

According to Natural resources Canada, the average driver idles their car 10 minutes a day during winter, wasting about $100 in fuel each year. On cold winter mornings it’s easy to fall into the habit of letting your car idle for a good long time but even in winter your engine only needs 30 seconds to warm up before you drive away. 
While it sometimes takes a few minutes to properly defrost your car on cold mornings, a little elbow grease and a scraper can reduce your idle time. Dressing for winter will mean you don`t need to get the car`s interior up to room temperature before you climb in.
Minding your idling any time is a good habit, whether you’re waiting for your kids, picking up your mail or chatting with neighbours. As a rule, turn your engine off if you’re parked for more than 10 seconds. A vehicle left idling for more than 10 seconds uses more gas then it would take to shut off and restart the engine. And all of those ground level emissions are being inhaled by those in and around the car.
Using your car as little as possible is another common sense way to make your carbon footprint smaller, including walking more and planning your route before running errands.
Keeping your car in good working order will also help to green your ride. Keeping the tires properly inflated and removing unnecessary weight from the trunk or roof will help you get better mileage which translates to lower emissions.
Driving less can be easier than you think.  Give it a try and you might find that it adds up to more money in your pocket and a healthier lifestyle.

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