Motor vehicles are the biggest source of atmospheric pollution, contributing an estimated 14% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning. Road transport accounts for 22% of total UK emissions of carbon dioxide, majorly contributor to climate change. The average European car produces an estimated 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year and an average American car releases 300 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from a 15 gallon tank of gas.
What’s more, the carbon emissions released by cars aren’t only damaging to our environment, but also our health. According to the BBC, it is estimated that combustion exhausts across the UK cause nearly 5,000 premature deaths every year and of the 19,000 estimated annual deaths across the UK, 7,000 of these fatalities are due to pollutants blown in from the continent. Furthermore, in London, European pollutants add a further 960 deaths each year to the 2,200 caused by UK combustion fumes.
We’re all aware that cars are bad for our health and our environment with the statistics there to prove it, but no matter how much we know it, realistically, for many people, it’s difficult to cut out using a car all together. So as well as trying to use public transport when and where you can, there are also other options where you can still use your car but drastically reduce your carbon footprint, with investing in a newer car being one of them.
Upgrading to a new car
Older cars can be very harmful to our environment as they are a lot less efficient and burn more CO2 emissions. Therefore, investing in a newer car can be a great way to go about reducing your carbon footprint. There are plenty of models around these days that really take into account how environmentally friendly they are and are built specifically to have as little environmental impact as possible.
Investing in a new car might seem out of the question and you might be thinking “I can’t afford to be forking out for a new car every year”, which is why so many people choose car finance. This allows you to pay a monthly fee for a brand new car of your choice and if you shop around you can often get a really good deal.
For example, Credo asset finance, who offer Car Finance in Norwich, shop around to find the best possible deal for the model of your choice. All too often, people will go directly to the specific car manufacturer and as a result spend more money than they would if they went to a company that offer car finance services. Choosing car finance will mean you can continually get a newer cars and therefore will significantly reduce your carbon footprint in comparison to if you chose to use an older car for many years. Furthermore, getting a car on finance, often caps the amount of mileage you are allowed to use on the car, which will encourage you to use your car less and choose even greener options like public transport or walking where possible.
Choosing to invest in a car that is more energy efficient doesn’t only benefit our environment, but can also benefit your wallet. For any cars that were registered before the 1st March 2001, road tax is determined by the car’s engine size. Therefore, if you choose a car that is energy efficient with a small engine, you could be exempt from paying any tax at all or pay very low tax rates.
If getting a newer car isn’t a viable option for you, there are new technologies have also been introduced to help you implement a greener lifestyle. For example, GreenMeter has been introduced which is an app for the iPhone and iPod touch that detects your vehicle’s power and fuel usage and establishes ways to increase your efficiency, how you can reduce car emissions, fuel consumption and cost so that you can lower your environmental impact as much as possible.
By Laura Harrison
Edited by Helen Kinsella
Image sourced: Jensbntagscar emissionscarbon emissionsgreen motoringgreen transportsustainable transport