Without a doubt, we have the privilege of living in some of the most exciting and innovative times in the history of humankind.
However, as our technological advancements keep taking over the world, and as that same world keeps getting smaller and smaller, we have also reached a point where our own development is beginning to hurt us. The fires still raging in Australia should be proof enough that we have gone too far and that we need to slow down. It’s time we focused on something other than advancement and development at all costs.
Enter green transportation, as one of the means that can help us prevent further damage to the planet.
What is green transportation?
Green transportation is any means of transportation that involves eco-friendly vehicles that do not have any kind of negative impact on the environment. They utilize the resources they need to operate effectively and efficiently, most often running on renewable resources, such as electricity, biofuel, or even wind energy.
How do we become more green?
The key aspect of green transportation is improving the awareness and education of the general public about how harmful traditional modes of transportation are and encouraging them to look for greener alternatives.
Of course, the public can’t do it on their own, and encouragement from all levels of government is key. That includes:
- tax deductions for green-energy vehicles
- vehicle-free zones in large cities
- improving bicycle culture and infrastructure
- enabling citizens to choose a greener transportation option without it being the inferior choice.
Green transportation options
Here are some of the options you may have available to you:
Swapping a car or a bus for a bicycle is one of the simplest ways to go green and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Riding a bicycle is also a great way to get some exercise, and the cost of upkeep is significantly less than with a car.
2. Electric bicycles
On the other hand, but in a similar vein, if you need to cover longer distances and perhaps even higher speeds, replacing your old bike with an electric bicycle is a great option. It reduces your need to pedal, it is completely eco-friendly, and it can get you wherever you need to go faster than your legs could.
3. Electric cars
The manufacturing of electric cars has been on the rise for years, and more and more people are beginning to see their benefits. These vehicles don’t burn any petrol or diesel, and they are powered entirely by electricity. You can charge them at home or at charging stations in your city, and you’ll be helping to reduce the emission of harmful gases.
However, the downside of electric cars is that the power plants that need to generate the energy to charge them still produce pollutants that are emitted into the atmosphere. They’re also more expensive than traditional cars. And while we certainly imagine electric options slowly replacing older models, we’re still a long way from them becoming the norm.
4. Hybrid cars
Hybrid cars are a mix between the old and the new. They rely on electricity to run, but they also have some elements of a traditional model. They do reduce greenhouse emissions by as much as 90 percent, depending on the model and make of the car.
However, the downside of these cars is that the batteries they require to run have a negative impact on the environment, and they need to be disposed of very carefully.
Finally, walking is probably the greenest mode of transportation you can choose. It emits no harmful gases, it is free, and it also improves your health.
Granted, there are simply times when you cannot walk. Nonetheless, figuring out a way to reduce your car use is the first step to embracing a greener mode of transportation.
What can you do?
If you can’t reasonably walk or bike somewhere (to work or to the shops, for example), try to arrange a carpool. In short, try to avoid being the only passenger in a car as much as you can. By sharing a ride, you will remove one additional car from the road – and if more people embrace carpooling, there will be less congestion on the roads. If we all pitch in this way, we can reduce the harmful effects we are exerting on the planet.
When you can, do take your bike or walk – even if it means leaving earlier. While the harmful effects of greenhouse gases won’t reach their peak in our lifetime, the consequences they exact on our own lives are severe enough to force us all into greener modes of transportation.