- Check out your car’s carbon footprint here.
- Use the EPA’s calculator to measure your household’s carbon footprint for transportation here.
- Compare your vehicle’s carbon footprint to public transportation here.
- Use EPA’s website to identify greenhouse gas emissions from a typical passenger vehicle here.
- Calculate your average cost of gas per month here or here.
- Account for what you spend on parking and vehicle maintenance, registration, and inspection.
- Try new modes of transportation. Earn rewards for trying out or utilizing public and alternate transportation! Programs across the state provide incentives, including cash, for choosing a different way to get to work. Check out some of the options available in your area here.
- Walk or bike short distances, or use/rent an electric scooter. Additional exercise can support your health and using alternate transportation reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Try carpooling and ridesharing or taking a bus or train! Set a goal to start by taking public transportation once a week to reduce your carbon footprint. For more information, look at the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s website or your local transportation department for options, routes, and schedules.
- Drive cleanly.
- Follow the rules. Speed limits protect safety and health by promoting multimodal transportation and reducing air pollution, which is linked to respiratory disease and cancer. Learn more from the World Health Organization.
- Avoid sudden acceleration and deceleration, use cruise control on the highway, and avoid idling when you are parked. According to the Argonne National Laboratory, idling can waste 1/6th to 5/6th of a gallon of fuel per hour – depending on the vehicle.
- Plan your errands in advance and coordinate them with family members and friends to limit the trips you make and the ground you retrace. This saves you time and money as well as reducing your carbon footprint.
- Keep your tires properly inflated and your engine tuned. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by up to 3% and some maintenance fixes (like fixing faulty oxygen sensors) can increase fuel efficiency by up to 40%.
- If you are in the market for a vehicle, consider a hybrid or electric vehicle. These vehicles will save money in fuel but also decrease your overall carbon footprint for transportation. Compare fuel economy of different vehicles here.
Set a Goal: decide what makes sense for you – look at financial, environmental, and quality of life benefits:
- Financial savings: How much could you save if you used alternative transportation once a week? Or, carpooled twice a week?
- Environmental benefits: How much can you reduce your carbon footprint through behavioral changes? Through upgrades?
- Quality of life: What could you do during your commute if you didn’t have to drive? What would you gain from commuting with a friend? Give yourself a break!