Climate Action Challenge: destination anywhere

 In Opinion

You’re probably not jumping in the car and heading to Florida this year (at least I really hope you’re not), but, even so, your regular commute and incidental driving can really add up to disaster for our planet. Compound that by the massive increase in online shopping, which explodes at-home deliveries, and we are managing to do plenty of damage, from the comfort of our living rooms. You guessed it folks. We’re talking about transportation this month.
Greenhouse gases are invisible, and it’s difficult to get a clear perspective on what our habits do to our environment. If you want a disturbing visual showing what carbon emissions from your tailpipe look like as solid chunks, watch the video What if Carbon Left Your Tailpipe as Solid Chunks? at www.pbs.org.
We’ve had some really good news lately when it comes to sustainable advances. Car corporations are announcing lots of investment in hybrid and electric vehicles, here in Canada. The feds are investing $180 billion over the next 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities. Sadly though, Collingwood council recently committed to buying new diesel buses. One step forward, two steps back.
Despite that, there’s plenty you can do without too much pain in the neck, or the wallet. Check out this month’s challenges! 

March 3
This week: Drive the speed limit, and check your tire pressure. Estimates are that driving 20 km over the speed limit increases your fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent. So, instead of going 100 km on a tank of gas, you’re only going 80. You’re not only wasting fuel, you’re polluting more. 
Tire pressure impacts fuel efficiency, by as much as 3 per cent. It’s estimated that for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires you lower your gas mileage by .3 per cent. So keep them pumped up! 

March 10
Test drive an electric car, or sign up at electricautonomy.ca to learn more about the future of transportation. 

March 17
Keep a log of each trip you make this week in your car. If you have more than one driver, log everyone’s trips. 

March 24
This week use last week’s log to see if you can use your car less. Can you lump trips together? Can you carpool? Could you walk or bike? Public transportation?

March 31
Join the 30 days of cycling challenge at 30daysofbiking.com  or, start your own 30 days of walking challenge – walk somewhere everyday in April even if it is just around the block.

We’re in the home stretch of our 52 week challenge! Crank up the volume on your commitment and see if you can sprint to the finish. Don’t forget to turn out your lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on March 27 for Earth Hour! See you in April!

52 Weeks of Climate Action was created by Sherri Jackson and Laurel Hood. Sherri is a writer, speaker and musician. She is the candidate of record and communications coordinator for the Simcoe-Grey Greens. Laurel Hood, is a retired secondary teacher, transportation lead for the Collingwood Climate Action Team, and volunteer coordinator for the Simcoe-Grey Greens. Visit our blog or sign up at www.52weeksofclimateaction.com.

 

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