How to reduce your car’s impact

As we all know, cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles aren’t the best friends of the environment. However, for many of us it’s simply not practical to depend strictly on mass transportation or make the switch to an all-electric vehicle.

As a green-thinking member of society, where does that leave you? What should your stance be on driving with relation to sustainability?

The impact of cars on the environment

It’s useful to start with a firm understanding of the issue. What is the full impact of cars on the environment and how does that translate to long-term sustainability?

Here are some of the specific areas where motor vehicles have a negative impact:

• Global warming. Cars burn a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, and other compounds. When they’re operating, these compounds become oxidized and generate CO2. With no effective filter for the CO2, these emissions end up in the air and contribute to overall global warming. In fact, car emissions reportedly account for around 30 percent of all global warming emissions.

• Ozone depletion. Car air conditioning systems have compounds that actually form halogen-free radicals. These radicals have the ability to break down and reduce ozone in the atmosphere. Ozone, as you know, is a big part of our protection against ultraviolent radiation. While one car wouldn’t have much of an impact, billions of cars combine to have a substantial effect.

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