You probably heard about the greatest environmental threat of our time: the global warming. Maybe you think that your personal attitude and household consumption don’t have such a big effect on our beautiful blue planet. You’re right. But more people would change this situation. Now you think that you’ve heard it for thousands of times, and you know that other people think the same way and won’t do anything to protect our planet. It’s not your business, there are the green peace activists to solve this problem. But what makes you think that others don’t try to change? Nowadays more and more articles and films deal with this topic. So, let’s imagine that you are interested in the global warming problem, and you tend to take some steps.
A thick layer of atmosphere, which grows thinner further out into space, surrounds the Earth. The atmosphere is consists mainly of Nitrogen. 21% of the atmosphere is Oxygen while just around 1% of the atmosphere consists of other gases like Carbon Dioxide. When sunlight strikes the Earth, some of it escapes back into the atmosphere, but the presence of ‘greenhouse gases’ like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, prevents all the radiation from escaping out into space. These gasses trap the sun’s radiation, heat and energy, and therefore, the Earth’s temperature remains warm. So, more and more of the Earth’s radiation gets trapped by the atmosphere and the Earth gradually gets warmer and warmer. It is believed that over the past century the Earth has grown warmer by around 1 degree F. This is called global warming, which occurs due to the greenhouse effect.
Vehicles and their widespread use are the leading producer of greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. So your car also produces a lot of greenhouse gases. There are several ways you can limit this. For example, you can use public transport or walk more often; you can choose a fuel-efficient model when buying a car; or you can drive more fuel-efficiently. But there is another great solution: carpooling.
Do you have more cars in your family? All members of the family leave from home at a different time? Usually you go to work alone by car? Then, you are a main enemy of your environment. If you can travel with your family, try to use one car. It may takes more time, but means less consumption of oil and you can also save money. If you don’t have a family, or you really can’t travel together with somebody, try to use carpool services. There are several sites helping you to find other people interested in carpooling. It doesn’t matter where you live, carpooling has become widespread all over the world. Leave your car home and share a ride with somebody who travels to the same destination. Just try to avoid empty seats in your car, carpool whenever possible, and you already did a lot.
Car exhaust fumes extremely contribute to global warming. The United States, as Al Gore writes, is responsible for some 30 percent of greenhouse gas pollution, more “than South America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, and Asia — all put together.” Embarrassingly. You can watch his new film, An Inconvenient Truth, which might have little effect on you if you are not ready yet.
Fruzsina Csery is a freelance copywriter, she occasionally writes for Carpooling.