Cars, trucks, airplanes, and other kinds of vehicles are responsible for about one–third of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Smart transportation choices can make a big impact on reducing emissions.
- Walk, bike, skateboard, rollerblade, or take a bus to school. Just make sure to stay safe. Ask your school to get involved in the Safe Routes to School program.This program has lots of tips for students and their families, like forming “walking school buses” led by one or two adults.
- Give the car a break. Encourage your family to make one big trip to run all their errands at once, instead of making lots of small trips. Consider sharing rides with others, and use public transportation like buses or trains whenever you can.
- Use your buying power. When it's time to buy a new car, help your family choose one that's fuel–efficient or electric. You'll use less gas, reduce emissions, and save money. Learn more.
- Clean up the bus. Through EPA's Clean School Bus USA program, schools can replace or upgrade older buses so they are more fuel–efficient or run on cleaner fuels.
- Don't be idle. Your school bus idles when the engine is running but the bus isn't moving—for example, when your bus driver is waiting to pick you up after school. Running the engine burns fuel, which not only wastes gasoline, but also produces greenhouse gases and other kinds of air pollution. Learn more.
How Does Your Car Compare?
You and your family can find out how your car compares with other cars and how many tons of carbon dioxide your car produces each year. Just visit www.fueleconomy.gov and select your car's year and model.
Some of the most fuel–efficient cars on the market are hybrids, which means they run on a combination of gasoline and battery power. Cars that run completely on electricity are also becoming more common.
You Can Help Reduce Idling
- Talk with school officials and bus drivers about reducing school bus idling.
- Ask school officials to post “no idling” signs.
- Remind your family not to idle your own car.