How do you minimize your contributions to global warming as a motorist? Here are some things to keep in mind as the world celebrates the 40th Earth Day.
1. Use public transport. Avoid the rush-hour squeeze if you can. Riding the bus or the MRT is three times more fuel-efficient than riding a private car.
2. Walk more. Walking is the most environment-friendly, most economical and healthiest mode of transport. Try to walk more when going short distances around the city, or walk in conjunction with taking public transport.
3. Ride a bike. It uses no fuel except the fat in those love handles you don't love anymore. For short trips around the neighborhood, hop on and enjoy the workout. If you're dedicated, taking your bike to work will reduce your annual carbon-dioxide emission by half a ton.
4. Get a smaller car. Forget the V8-powered SUVs and the bling wheels-you're neither a rapper nor an NBA star. When buying a new car, ask what its fuel consumption is. While a small displacement is a positive sign of fuel economy, consider also how much weight the car has to haul. If the engine as to work harder, it will guzzle more gas.
5. Fly sparingly. Air transport is tops when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions. Fly only when you absolutely have to. On vacations, instead of domestic flights, consider ferries or ships (except those with the name ‘Sulpicio' on them), or take vacations closer to home.
6. Work closer to home. Check if your company has other offices you can operate out of. For example, some call centers have offices on opposite ends of Metro Manila. Argue with your boss that you will be more productive with a shorter commute.
7. Carpool. Get to know the people in your network and see who lives nearby (Facebook status: Who's from Alabang and wants to carpool to Makati?), then create a carpool system where you either take turns bringing a car or paying for gas, as long as you maximize the passenger capacity of your vehicle. Besides, chatting with a lovely officemate on the way home is a great way to cap your day.
Source: Top Gear Philippines, August 2008