Earth Day and How to Lower Your Carbon Footprint

April 5th, 2019 by

The global climate and the impact of man-made carbon is a growing concern. More and more people are thinking about what they can do to curb their carbon footprint and help out at a personal level. Ideally, the best way around that is to just not drive (or at least drive as little as possible), but that’s simply not an option for most of us.

Pawleys Island Cleaned Up

So how can you make the right decisions on a vehicle that helps reduce that impact?

  • Limit your driving. If it’s possible to walk to the store or a restaurant, walk instead of driving. Use public transit when you can, and carpool with others when possible.
  • Don’t think of an EV or hybrid as a money-saving strategy, instead consider the impact on the environment and your own fuel savings cost. Yes, the reduced fuel consumption will pay off over the life cycle of the vehicle, instead consider the options of a EV or hybrid and how it can help both you and the planet.
  • If you have a free weekend you might consider taking part in the annual Earth Day Walk at Lowcountry Center and the Brookgreen labyrinth. You can find more information about tickets and hours at the Brookgreen Earth Day Walk website.
  • Consider the full impact of a vehicle — including the manufacturing process — and think about whether a new car makes more sense. With current technology, manufacturing an all-electric vehicle actually uses more carbon-rich resources, when taking into account the size and manufacturing process for the battery, production of the vehicle and transport to the dealer. In that context, maybe a depreciated used vehicle makes more sense.
  • If you’re buying an EV, how does the charging for that EV work? How is the local power plant fueled? You can consult the Department of Energy to see how an EV in your locale will weigh in regarding actual emissions per mile – you may be eligible for carbon offset credits.
  • If you drive a hybrid with a plug-in option, plug it in when it’s parked.
  • If you do go with a truck, SUV or minivan, consider your driving habits. That means keeping your speed down on the interstate and maintaining your vehicle well to keep it in top running condition.  Even the little things can make a difference, such as using a rear bumper carrier for extra storage rather than a rooftop box that hurts aerodynamics and fuel economy.