The environmental impact of Australian cars
Did you know that Australian cars collectively emit about the same emissions each year as the whole of Queensland’s coal and gas-fired electricity supply?
And it’s not just our daily commute that’s hurting the planet. The emissions involved in manufacturing a car and shipping it to Australia can match or even exceed the exhaust pipe emissions of that car over its whole lifetime.
Our current model of car ownership is incredibly wasteful. The average car in Australia sits idle for 96% of the time. With 19.2 million registered cars in Australia, that’s a lot of wasted resources sitting in our streets and driveways. In fact, that’s more than one car for every one of driving age in Australia!
Choose greener transport
To live a low emissions lifestyle, it’s important that we reduce our reliance on our own cars. Here are a few actions you could try.
1. Try car sharing
If you don’t drive very often you might not need to own a car. With a car sharing service you can rent cars near you by the hour or day, so you can drive when you need to and choose cleaner forms of transport at other times.
Car Next Door lets you borrow cars from real people near you. Because you’re using cars already sitting around in your neighbourhood, it’s making better use of the resources we already have. Plus Car Next Door offsets all the emissions from your driving through our partnership with Greenfleet. It’s a win, win!
If you already own a car, consider renting it out. You’ll earn some money to offset the costs of ownership and make it possible for your neighbours to live car-free. Every share car takes up to 12 cars off the road, avoiding the emissions from the manufacture of all those cars.
2. Choose public transport, riding or walking
If you can get to your destination without driving, choose a cleaner and more active mode of transport instead. Whether it’s public transport, hopping on your bike or using your legs, every trip you take without your car is helping the environment and your health. And now with more bike hire options popping up around our major cities, it’s even easier to ride a bike.
3. Make your next car eco-friendly
If living without a car isn’t an option for you, choose an eco-friendly model. Hang on to your current car for as long as possible and when you need a new car go for second-hand. Choose a smaller fuel-efficient car rather than a big gas-guzzler or go for a hybrid or fully electric car to really reduce the emissions from your driving.
4. Travel local and direct
Tourism is responsible for nearly one-tenth of the world’s carbon emissions. Reduce your travel miles and your impact by choosing a destination that’s closer to home and book a direct flight. Take-off and landing are the most fuel-intensive parts of a flight, so the fewer connections you make, the smaller your carbon footprint. You can also choose to pay a little extra to offset the emissions from your flight when you book your tickets, either with the airline or through a carbon offsetting organisation like Greenfleet.
5. Offset your emissions when you drive
For the times you do need to drive, it’s easy and pretty affordable to offset your emissions. You can offset a small car’s emissions for one year with a $57-dollar donation to Greenfleet and their native reforestation programs. Greenfleet will plant enough native trees to capture the emissions produced by the average small car each year.
Find out what else you can do to live a 1.5-degree life.
This article was written by Car Next Door.