Carbon Emissions From Vehicles And What YOU Can Do To Reduce Them

Amaya Esquivel

May 6th, 2021

What are Carbon Emissions And How Are They Dangerous ?

Carbon Emissions, also known as Green House Gas Emissions are the release of carbon dioxide into the air. It is one of the main contributors to climate change and one of the main contributors to such a high amount of release are vehicles. A lot of the carbon emitted from vehicles comes from burning large quantities of fossil fuel, gasoline, and diesel. Other than climate change, it destroys the ozone layer, pollutes water courses, and mixes with rain water to create acid rain which wilts crops and other plant life.

Who Does This Affect?

Everyone! If exposed for long periods of time, this can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, wheezing, and in extreme cases, chest tightness and risk for a heart attack. This is especially dangerous toward elderly, children (below the age of 3), individuals with pre-existing heart or breathing conditions, people with asthma, or outdoor active people.

What Vehicle Companies Are Doing To Help

Tesla is a great example of environmentally friendly cars. All the models of their cars are electric, from Model 3 to Model X, and Y. Different car companies are slowly introducing, announcing or already have 0 emission electric cars out on the market. Toyota has plans to introduce their electric cars in 2025. The company even has a 43 page guide on the challenges, addressing concerns, future plans, and how they are going to build the cars. Other companies such as Kia and Honda are beginning to introduce their electric cars.

What YOU Can Do To Help

Let’s say you can’t afford an electric car, there are simple and doable solutions for any driver of any age.

  1. Taking your car for regular maintenance checks i.e. tune ups, oil changes, tire rotations, etc. Keeping care of your car not only keeps your car running it helps reduce the amount of gasoline usage. Plus, taking your car in for professional maintenance also means proper disposal of the materials.
  2. Changes in driving habits. Let’s say you have a habit of speeding or driving aggressively, not only does this put you in danger and the other drivers in danger, it also burns up your tires, fuel and engine creating more pollutants in the air.
  3. Drive less. This one is not as self explanatory as it may seem. Because of certain circumstances (life basically) some individuals can’t just simply drive less. Instead try combining errands. This reduces the amount of trips and usage of your car. Also, try to carpool with friends or family.
  4. Find new alternatives to driving. Let’s say you do live in a circumstance where you don’t always need to drive, some suggested alternatives are walking( if you live within walking distance of places you want to go to of course), biking or public transportation(Uber, Lyft, taxi, bus, light rail, etc).

Closing words

Why make an article on this subject if there are already a bunch out there? I wrote this mainly because a lot of the articles I have read are very long winded or are short but don’t give the proper information (essentially, people don’t want to read 1- 500 pages of crap). As a result this makes getting involved more difficult than it needs to be. So, I created a 3 page article that is short and gets to the point on background and how to help. The main goal is to spread awareness and show that it isn’t as difficult to get involved as others make it out to be.

Additional Resources

  1. https://goals.com/7-ways-vehicle-maintenance-can-help-the-environment
  2. https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/
  3. https://www.kia.com/us/en/ecodynamics
  4. https://www.honda.com/environment
  5. https://global.toyota/pages/global_toyota/sustainability/report/er/er20_en.pdf#page=11
  6. https://www.kbb.com/oil-change/
  7. https://www.jiffylubeca.com/2017/09/11/oil-change-costs-closer-look/

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Amaya Esquivel

Amaya Esquivel

I am an artist and a college student with dreams of becoming a Special ED Teacher.