Holidays = Lots of travel—Black Friday mall trips, grocery runs, vacation getaways, and cross-country trips to visit family. People are motivated by different reasons to choose their mode of transportation, especially for the holidays. And as we all know, climate change has been top-of-mind for some years now. With nearly 47 million travelers taking to the roads, rails, and airways this Thanksgiving, we can all do our part to reduce our CO2 travel emissions as we head out for turkey and stuffing this year.
Follow these six easy steps, and you can start your holidays off greener:
1 – Travel off peak.
Traveling at off-peak hours can prevent sitting in traffic on congested highways. According to a publication from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average commuter who drives to work in urban regions loses the equivalent of five vacation days each year because of delayed traffic. Don’t give up your well-earned time off to traffic slowdowns!
2 – Pack light.
Extra weight causes cars to lose efficiency and use more fuel to travel. Leave the kitchen sink at home.
3 – Maintain your car.
Prior to driving, perform seasonal vehicle maintenance. Changing your oil and properly inflating your tires can improve gas mileage and reduce traffic congestion due to preventable breakdowns. Proper maintenance can reduce your car’s emissions by more than half. Many drivers put vehicle upkeep on auto pilot, waiting for a “ping” from the car’s onboard reminder or by following decades-old habits. Keep your automobile in peak condition all year by following AAA’s seasonal advice.
4 – Trip chain.
It’s easy! This is when you combine errands into one trip. Not only do you cut down on drive time, you also use your car more efficiently. Starting a car after the engine has been turned off for more than an hour pollutes up to five times more than when the engine’s warm.
5 – Utilize transportation resources.
Get travel updates with online tools such as NY511 before you leave home, and you are less likely to get stuck in a jam.
6 – Spread the word.
Encourage friends and family members to be conscious of the environment during the holidays. If everyone took just a few of these simple, easy steps, it could make a big difference, because—It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air. This Federal Highway Administration air quality awareness initiative keeps Americans focused on the small steps they can take to improve the quality of the air we breathe.
ASC wishes all a safe and CO2-smart Thanksgiving!