No matter what kind of car you drive, one of the best ways to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions is to drive less.
Use public transit or carpool
When carpooling or taking a train or bus, you’re occupying a seat on a vehicle that would have made the same trip without you. This means you’re contributing very few—if any—additional emissions to the environment. Plus, you’re saving money on fuel, vehicle maintenance, parking, and tolls.
Bike or walk
Using your body to get around reduces your greenhouse gas emissions, burns calories, and saves money on fuel and parking.
If you have the option, working from home reduces your greenhouse gas emissions and allows you to spend less time on the road and more time working or relaxing.
Flying uses a lot of fuel. A single round-trip flight from Los Angeles to New York emits around a ton of carbon dioxide per passenger—equal to the amount an average American SUV driver emits in one month.
If you’re flying a lot for work, ask whether the trips are necessary.
Choosing direct flights results in less fuel used, fewer miles flown, and consequently lower emissions per person.
Drive a Fuel-Efficient
or Electric Car
It doesn’t happen often, but every several years you make a decision that has an enormous impact on your energy use and carbon emissions: you buy or lease a car. The choice you make will determine your impact for as long as you drive that vehicle.
Drive a 40 mpg (or better) vehicle
When purchasing or leasing, choose the most fuel-efficient option within a given class of vehicles. Buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle that travels ten additional miles-per-gallon can save you more than $400 on fuel and up to 4,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year. (If you need a bigger vehicle, you can still find an efficient choice—or simply rent a truck or SUV when needed.)
Consider a hybrid or electric vehicle
Because 93 percent of today’s transportation energy comes from petroleum, electrifying the transportation sector is a proactive strategy with economic and environmental benefits. Explore rebates and incentives to make these cars more affordable.
Maintain your vehicle
Keep your vehicle’s tires properly inflated to save fuel and lower your emissions. Simple maintenance including regular oil changes, air filter changes, and spark plug replacements will lengthen the life of your vehicle, improve fuel economy, and minimize emissions.