Driving Green and Staying Cheap

Get where you are going while also lowering your carbon footprint with these tips about green driving.

| January 2018

We Can All Live Green (St. Lynn’s, 2008), by Jennifer Noonan presents examples of your daily lives that puts stress on the environment, and offers green solutions to ensure that the environment and our wallets re being treated better. In this excerpt, Noonan addresses the expensive and harmful effects of driving frequently, combating the problem with suggestions to keep your costs lower and your carbon footprint smaller.

Getting Where You Need To Go

A set of wheels and personal freedom are synonymous images in American culture. We learn to love our “wheels” at an early age. Whether it’s a pair of roller skates, a skateboard or a bike as a child, or our city transportation system or the oh-so-memorable first vehicle as a teenager – we have all learned to love the ability to get where we need to go. And who can blame us? A set of wheels not only represents individual freedom, it represents good times, the promise of adventure.

So, the fact that we now hear that our adult wheels are playing a major role in the pain we feel in our wallets, as well as harming the environment, well…it’s downright upsetting. Our cars are our links to our independence. And our jobs. And now you tell me I’m destroying the planet because of the type of car I drive? Can my car’s carbon footprint really be that big?

Sorry, but the bad news is Yes. The good news is there are no carbon footprint police coming to get you. But that is also bad news, because that means you can ignore – for just a while longer – the fact that your car is the single largest contributing factor to your carbon footprint.

Some average U.S. carbon footprints per person:

• Driving and Flying 44.3 percent
• Home Energy 36.2 percent
• Food and Diet 15.1 percent
• Recycling and Waste 4.4 percent
(Nature Conservancy)

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