The average two cars that your family tootles around in contribute about 40 percent of your family’s 48,800 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year (see below). Check out how your car’s emissions stack up, and consider switching to a sedan, a hybrid or an electric vehicle to lighten your CO2 load. Then, take two minutes and switch your home to green energy and you’ll be part of the solution. These individual actions can’t come at a more critical time for our climate. The planet just hit historic CO2 levels.
Good News: Vehicles’ MPG Hit Record Highs
For cars weighing less than 8,500 pounds, miles-per-gallon averages hit a record-high this year at 25.5 MPG. Electric vehicles are now more common. Toyota, Hyundai and Honda hybrids zip around everywhere. Yet, the top three selling vehicles last year were trucks: Ford’s F150, Chevrolet’s Silverado and RAM trucks.
Through executive action, President Obama increased corporate average fleet emissions (CAFE) MPG standards to 36 MPG by 2025. A little problem, though: President Trump’s administration and the auto industry are considering rolling this target back.
How Does Your Car’s Tailpipe Stack Up?
Each year, the average U.S. car drives 13,500 miles. If your car isn’t listed below, visit Terrapass and calculate your car’s emissions. Terrapass is a credible nonprofit that funds additional greenhouse gas-reducing projects that cancel out carbon emissions.
The Goal: Take Action to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint to a Minimum
At a high level, excluding air travel, the chart below lists the key sources of carbon pollution for an average three-person Maryland family living in a single-family home. Cars account for 41 percent. A 3,000-mile plane flight in economy class contributes 880 CO2 pounds.
Switch SUV to a Sedan/Hybrid Cuts Yearly Carbon Footprint by 11 Percent
The Winning Carbon Footprint Chart
As the charts above illustrate, Maryland’s coal-fired and nuclear-fueled electricity generate 30 percent of your family’s carbon footprint. If you choose an electric vehicle, or switch to a fuel-efficient car, take the two minutes and switch your home’s electricity source to renewable. We tell you all about how to here.
Latest posts by Laurel Peltier (see all)
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- A guide to switching your home’s energy supply to wind power (no turbines needed) - May 31, 2018