What is Your Car’s Carbon Footprint?

Carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon that is emitted by any equipment or machinery that uses energy. It is the total amount of greenhouse gases that is given off by a given household or organization. Motor vehicles are one of the contributors of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and knowing how much a car contributes can help individuals become more environmentally conscious.

It is easy to calculate a car’s carbon emission online. This can be done by selecting the make or model of the car and the number of miles the car has covered. Some websites will include the frequency of using the car as a factor to calculate the amount of carbon it produces every day.

A low carbon footprint for a car is 100g per kilometer, while a very high carbon emission for a vehicle is 200g per kilometer. The calculation considers the amount of carbon emission per year, such that if a car makes about 10,000 miles in a year at a carbon emission of 160g per kilometer which is a high polluting vehicle, the amount of carbon dioxide produced in the year would be 2.6 tons, which is massive.

It has been proved that in the United States, carbon dioxide emissions come mainly from automobiles such as vans, jeeps, pickup trucks and other cars. It has also been confirmed that vehicles with the lowest mileage per tank are the highest carbon dioxide emitters. This is because they will require more gas than regular and low emission vehicles, which means that the carbon dioxide that they produce is much higher than regular vehicles.

Considering that the US is one of the highest fuel consumers with up to 20 million barrels of oil per day as of the year 2000, the emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of the oil is a cause for concern. There have been many initiatives undertaken to educate individuals on how to cut down the CO2 emissions by using their vehicles less and less.

One highly publicized means of cutting down the pollution is by purchasing hybrid vehicles. These types of cars have low carbon emissions, some running on other sources of energy apart from gas. This is a good method of showing responsibility for the environment, but the main problem is that the hybrid cars are out of purchasing reach for a majority of people.

Another option is to use public transportation rather than driving. This method would not only decrease the carbon dioxide emissions but would also create more jobs for bus and train operators, as well as clear up the roads from traffic snarl-ups which only go to create more greenhouse gases that are harmful to the atmosphere.

Fuel efficiency can be increased significantly if car owners would service their vehicles often enough. Keeping the engine of your vehicle in excellent running shape will give you more mileage from a tank of gas, causing drivers to spend much less on fuel and give off less carbon dioxide.

Drive-through services should also be avoided because it translates to excessive burning of fuel while waiting in line for service. It would conserve gas uses if individuals chose to walk to restaurants and fast food joints locally and planning their eating habits well so that they do not get hungry at odd hours.

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