Reduce Car Mileage
Car travel is for the average family the second greatest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after air flights.
Almost as much energy is consumed in building a vehicle as will be consumed in the entire life of the vehicle. So choosing not to own a car makes a double contribution to reduced emissions.
Click on choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle to find out about efficiency and low-emission fuels.
Click on other car use options and alternatives to find out about Car Pooling, Sharing, Hiring, Public Transport, Cycling & Walking.
Choose A Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
Fuel Efficiency varies widely but generally small - engined cars give better miles per gallon (mpg) ratings; for petrol vehicles typically 30-45mpg.
The most consumptive private vehicles tend to be 4x4's and large-engined sports cars delivering just 12-25mpg for petrol vehicles.
Hybrid vehicles running on a combination of either petrol or LPG and self-generated electricity are now increasingly available. For example the new Toyota "Prius" (winner of eco-car of the year award 2004) is a mid-sized car which averages 65mpg with either of the above fuels.You can also read Toyota's Hybrid Synergy View Newsletter
Keeping your speed down on fast roads also reduces fuel consumption. A car consumes 20% -30% less fuel at speeds of 55mph compared to 75mph.
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) vehicles contribute lower CO2 emissions and benefit from cheaper car tax and exemption from the London Congestion Charge. There is also a Government grant available for part of the conversion costs from petrol to LPG.For information on hybrids, LPG and grants visit www.transportenergy.org.uk and www.powershift.org.uk For information on hybrids, LPG and grants visit Transport Energy and their Power Shift programme
If you run a car consider joining the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) which offers breakdown and travel insurance services and campaigns for a sustainable transport system. Tel: 0800 212 810. Friends of the Earth members also get a discount on all ETA services.
Other Car Use Options & Alternatives
Car pooling Is one of the fastest growing alternatives to traditional vehicle ownership. My Streetcar charge £100 for one-off membership. You can check car availability on line, collect from 15 sites around London 24hrs a day and pay just £4.95per hour.
Nicola Baird co author of Save Cash & Save the Planet estimates that joining a car club can save you up to £3,470.
If a car pool group is not running in your area, how about setting one up?
Hiring a vehicle for occasional use (preferably a hybrid).
Public Transport Train, Coach, Bus, Tram and Ferry.
Cycling & Walking The new breed of folding bicycles such as the "Brompton" can be easily carried on trains or buses.