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Most Australian households spend as much on transport fuel as they do on electricity or gas for their home. Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector were 1.71 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2013-14, which was the equal largest contributing sub-sector of Tasmania's total emissions. Transport-related greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 8 per cent since the baseline of 1989-90.
By driving your car more efficiently and choosing, when practical, to use other modes of transport, you can cut your personal emissions and save money.
Walking or riding to work or the shops, even once a week, can reduce your carbon footprint and save money on petrol.
These active forms of transport are also good for your health. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, as well as reducing depression. Encouraging children to walk or ride to school can contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle as they grow older. You can learn more in the Tasmanian Walking and Cycling for Active Transport Strategy.
Buses can be a great way to manage the daily commute. Instead of battling traffic, you can read a book or chat with a co-worker or friend as you travel from A to B. Encourage your children to travel to school by bus; they will appreciate the independence and form sustainable travel habits for later in life.
How you drive your car affects its fuel consumption and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it produces. Abrupt acceleration and braking can use up to 30 per cent more fuel. Changing gears sooner, at a lower revolutions per minute, can also reduce your fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent.
Regardless of the type of car you own, driving it more efficiently will not only help improve fuel economy, but will reduce wear and tear and save you money.
Sustainable Living Tasmania has developed a short Eco Driving video explaining how to make your car journey safer and cheaper, whilst also reducing your greenhouse gas emissions.
Fuel economy and running costs vary significantly between different vehicles. Choose the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your everyday needs. It is cheaper to rent a bigger car for those few occasions when you need it, than to run it all year. Hybrid cars and electric vehicles are also becoming cheaper and more readily available. You can read more about electric cars, including how they work and what it’s like to own one, on the Australian Electric Vehicle Association website.
You can find the greenhouse rating (based on the level of carbon dioxide emissions) of vehicles sold in Australia at the Green Vehicle Guide.
Car-pooling with colleagues or neighbours saves fuel and money, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. More people travelling together in one car will reduce the number of vehicles on the road which may ease congestion and result in more efficient commuting. It’s also a good chance to catch up on the latest news!
Buying locally-made products not only supports the local economy but also reduces the emissions generated by transporting goods from where they are produced to where they are consumed. However, choosing greenhouse-friendly products, regardless of where they are produced, will always be the best option, as the emissions generated in production far outweigh their transportation footprint.
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