There’s no denying that transport is essential. We need it to get ourselves from place to place, to ensure goods get to where they need to go, and even to transport the fuel that makes transport possible. Transportation based on fossil fuels, such as petrol and diesel, (including planes, trains, cars, trucks and ships) contributed 20.5% of the global Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGE) in 2014, making it the second highest contributor after electricity production (49%), with manufacturing and industry coming in close third (20%). Furthermore, personal transport and freight transport are both expected to increase by 1.7% and 2.3% respectively between 2000 and 2050, with the majority of the increase coming from rapidly developing nations
With alternative fuel source technology still a long way from being mainstream, it’s necessary to look at other ways to reduce emissions from vehicles. In many countries, access to mass public transport allows the carbon footprint to be reduced, but in South Africa, owning and driving a car is largely unavoidable. We have very limited access to reliable public transport and where it does operate, it services a very small area, like the Gautrain or the Cape Town city buses. For the rest, your options are to drive yourself, or to never leave home. But just because you have to drive, doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to reduce the impact your car has on the environment. Whether it’s driving more carefully or getting your car serviced regularly, here are a couple of suggestions of ways you can drive greener.