Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Why Get Out of Your Car? - Some Good Reasons

Behind the Wheel: Opportunities for Canadians to drive less, reduce pollution and save money (42 page pdf, Cherise Burda, Katie Laufenberg, Alison Bailie and Graham Haines, Pembina Institute, Oct. 2012)

Today we review a report prepared by the well-respected Pembina Institute which detailed many good ways to both reduce emissions from driving and save money. If all of their suggestions were acted on, the emissions from Canada’s transportation sector would be reduced by 16 million tonnes each year which is equivalent to taking 3.5 million cars off the road.

 ghg for transportation  

Key Quotes:

“Canadians drive over 300 billion kilometres in their cars, trucks and motorcycles, with the average Canadian household driving around 26,460 kilometres per year….consume over 36 billion litres of fuel a year, which equals about 243 million barrels of oil a year”

“car crashes and air pollution from cars cost American society between $535 and $4,214 per person per year”

"riding transit to and from work just one day a week can reduce personal transportation emissions by about 1 to 4%, reduce gas consumption by over 91 litres and save $215 in auto-related costs (gas, maintenance and depreciation) per year.”

“The average Canadian commuter spends about an hour on their round trip to and from work… Telecommuting two to three times a week could reduce costs of driving (based on an average sized car) by roughly $480 per year….between 41% and 47% of jobs [in Canada] are compatible with working at home.”

“drivers using the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane along Highway 404 reduced their travel time on the highway from 26 minutes to nine minutes”

“Moving to a location that allows you to eliminate one household vehicle provides savings equivalent to $200,000 on a 25-year mortgage….living in a city or neighbourhood that has location-efficient attributes (walkable, mixed use and access to transit) can reduce your auto dependence by about 20%. … moving close enough to work to get rid of the car entirely can save roughly $10,000 per year.”

“An average Canadian would spend only $38 per month to fuel up an electric vehicle, compared to $128 per month for a mid-sized gasoline powered car” Conclusions:
• If 50% of Canada’s driving commuters took action to leave the car at home, the combined annual greenhouse gas savings would be in the order of 4 million tonnes …
• If 50% of all Canadian drivers switched to a smaller, more fuel-efficient or electric vehicle, combined greenhouse gas reductions could reach 9 million tones….
• If 50% of all Canadian drivers drove smarter, it could be possible to reduce our emissions by 4 million tonnes ….
• If 50% of Canadian drivers took all these actions our savings could be in the order of 16 million tonnes CO2e. That’s equivalent to taking 3.5 million cars — almost one out of five — off Canada’s roads.”

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