Welcome to my 'Go Green Transportation' post!
First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Air pollution is a big problem we have been facing for many years. Research studies have shown the emissions from vehicles, are one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, and play a large role in global warming.
Not only do vehicle emissions pollute the environment, but they too cause adverse impacts on the human body and affect other species. There is no doubt that air pollution poses threats to human health and wellbeing.
Sustainable transport will reduce and potentially eliminate our emissions. We need to transform our transportation strategies on all levels; personally, publicly, and on a global scale.
This article is going to discuss current issues we are facing, the technology available, and provide you with a resource for making informed decisions about our green transportation. Read on!
As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives.
These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green.
Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green!
Air Pollution Vs Greenhouse Gases...
What is the difference between air pollution and greenhouse gas? The answer is how they impact our health and the environment. The impacts of air pollution are primarily seen close to the ground, where the effects of greenhouse gasses affect the entire atmosphere.
Solid particles and gases create air pollution and in cities, this is referred to as smog. Some examples include dust, pollen, mold spores, chemical factories, and transport emissions. Transportation is a major contributor to air pollution which produces significant amounts of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen, and nitrogen dioxide.
Air pollution also happens during the manufacturing production of vehicles and their disposal. The refining and distribution of fossil fuels that power the majority of vehicles on the road today are associated with additional emissions.
Both primary and secondary air pollution are associated with transport vehicles. Primary air pollution is emitted into the atmosphere directly. Secondary air pollution is due to chemical reactions that occur between the air and the pollutants present in it.
Air pollutants can cause chronic health conditions. Recent research studies show that fetuses and newborn babies are highly vulnerable to air pollutants because their immune systems are not fully developed.
- water vapor (H2O)
- carbon dioxide (CO2)
- methane (CH4)
- nitrous oxide (N2O)
- ozone (O3)
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- Hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs and HFCs).
Greenhouse gasses produce the same warming effect that greenhouses have on growing plants, except on a larger scale, warming up the surface of the Earth. Glass panels in a greenhouse let light in but prevent the heat from escaping. This causes the atmosphere inside the greenhouse to warm.
In the atmosphere, a similar process takes place with greenhouse gases. The sunlight passes through the greenhouse gases and enters the atmosphere, where the energy is absorbed by the land, water, and biosphere.
Using infrared radiation, some of the energy is sent back into the atmosphere. Much of this energy is trapped within the atmosphere because of the greenhouse gases and only some of it passes back into space. This causes the temperature of our atmosphere to rise.
Fuel combustion is the main cause of greenhouse gases, fugitive emissions from fossil fuels and industries being the second biggest concern. Without greenhouses, the planet would be 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-19 degrees Celcius). However, 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celcius) is the current temperature of the Earth's surface.
The temperature of the planet is rising and this is concerning because it could get to a level where it spirals out of control. The United Nations Interventional Panel on Climate Change has released reports saying that an increase of two degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celcius) would be the point where we lose our ability to control global warming.
According to NASA, greenhouse gases are responsible for transforming the atmosphere on other planets from supporting life to inhabitable.
The Solution - Green Transport!
Green transport is also known as sustainable transport. It focuses on modes of transportation that use renewable sources of energy such as energy generated from wind, solar, and water.
These sources of energy are considered clean because they do not create air pollution that impacts human health, and nor do they produce greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
Through the use of sustainable transport, we can save life on earth and humanity from extinction!
Fossil fuel energy sources such as coal, oil, and gas emit toxic gases. They can affect our health significantly. Air pollution can lead to cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disorders, brain hemorrhage, kidney disorders, and cancer.
On the other hand, green modes of transport do not provide harmful emissions and have the potential to improve human health e.g. walking and cycling require physical activity and cardio exercise.
Green transport is essential because it stops us from using our planet's non-renewable sources of energy which take millions of years to replenish. When we shift to green transportation, we can reduce the number of toxic gases being released into the atmosphere as these modes of transport has low or zero emissions. this will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas, and will slow or potentially stop climate change.
By using renewable energy we have the potential to be self-sufficient and save money. Combustion engines are dependent on fossil fuels which makes us dependent on the companies who sell them. If we can produce energy from renewable sources then they could potentially be cheaper, unless we depend on a company to provide them to us.
In general, the public perceives the prospect of green transport solutions as expensive. However, new research shows that a low carbon strategy is more affordable than carbon-intensive strategies. It has been suggested that savings could be $300 billion per year.
The initial cost of a new car is expensive but running a green vehicle is cheap and will save you money in the long-run. The U.S. government currently provides a tax break to people who buy then and we are starting to see more and more of these types of government initiatives happening in different countries around the world.
These systems have a positive impact on the sustainability of the economy they serve. The ultimate aim of a transport system is to provide social and economic connections. This industry offers a competitive economy, providing people with jobs, and boosting money into the economy.
On the other hand, green public transport and carsharing reduce the need for people to own a vehicle and can reduce the number of vehicles on a road. However, this will result in less time being wasted sitting in traffic jams. Providing more time to do other tasks of economic value.
Green Personal Transport...
Walking is great for our health and the health of the environment. By walking for thirty minutes per day or more on most days you can improve and maintain your overall health. If you have a busy day and can't spare this much time, just do what you can because it will all help.
Walking on your own can provide opportunities for reflection and relaxation, promoting your emotional and mental health. Walking with others can provide you with an enjoyable social activity.
Communities that are designed with walking as a mode of transport in mind, have the potential to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases, and people are encouraged to walk or ride a bike instead of drive.
Bicycles currently use fossil fuels in the manufacturing process, but there is the potential for this to change. Once made they do not require the use of fuel to be operated, except small maintenance.
Bicycles have many benefits because they are faster than walking and a great vital form of cardio exercise. Bicycles are also more affordable when compared to other motorized vehicles. They offer a range of physical health and mental health benefits.
Electric Bikes & Motorcycles...
These bikes motorcycles also provide the opportunity for better health and fitness, reducing the risk of a range of physical and mental health problems.
They provide the opportunity to travel great distances and are a viable option for people who struggle with the physical side of cycling. The battery enables them to paddle to a certain speed and before the battery takes over, maintaining the speed they got up to.
Electric bikes do not release toxins. into the air and if the electricity source is renewable then they are a very clean transportation option. As with any type of machine, there will be maintenance and there is the potential for this to be conducted sustainably too.
Electric Vehicles (EVs)...
This is the way forward in green technology as electricity can be produced in several sustainable ways. Research shows that this mode of transportation has positive impacts on air quality and health benefits. It reduces the need for combustion engines which results in less air pollution and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The first models of EVs received some bad publicity because their batteries require charging and only go so far before needing to be charged again. The current battery technology is responsible for this bad publicity, they are heavy and do not last long. I am looking forward to seeing how this industry changes when new battery technology surfaces.
Hybrid cars use a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that uses energy stored in batteries. These vehicles do not need to stop and plug into a charging source as the battery charges through a combination of breaking and the combustion engine.
These vehicles have low greenhouse gas emissions. Traditional cars that use fossil fuels can emit between 26-90% emissions. Hybrid cars only emit 5-10% of the greenhouse emissions, which is an extremely low figure as compared to cars that use fossil fuels. This is not a perfect solution but is a step in the right direction and we should be doing anything we can to reduce our emissions until better options are available to us.
This is where several people travel together in one vehicle. Carpooling can be done on personal levels with friends, family, and work colleagues or on a public level where lots of people are traveling in and out of the city. It makes the most of the power and resources to run a vehicle. It saves fuel and can reduce greenhouse gases for users and non-users.
It also reduces the congestion of traffic. Many cities now have designated lanes for carpooling, motivating the public to use this means of transport by skipping city traffic. Some companies have different vehicles allocated in different suburbs, to collect and transport people from the suburb into the city.
Up until now, carpooling was difficult to arrange but with the use of modern-day devices and apps, organizing on a personal and a community level is simple and this is now an effective means of transport.
Green Public Transport...
Some companies are using electric or hybrid trains and Germany has launched its first hydrogen train. Electrical trains source their electricity from a power station. If the power here is generated from renewable sources such as wind, water, or solar then this has the potential to dramatically reduce our use of fossil fuels.
The hybrid trains use the same technologies as we see in hybrid cars. Hydrogen trains use the same technology and hydrogen cars. The fuel cell is a key aspect of hydrogen propulsion. The chemical energy is converted to generate electricity, heat, and water. The electricity is used to move the train. Trams are the same as an electric train.
China currently has over 420,000 electric buses on the road, seventeen percent of the countries total number of buses. The buses are powered by energy stored in rechargeable batteries.
Green International Transport...
These are the most environmentally friendly option for international travel but this method has its drawbacks. Traveling this way is time-consuming and stormy weather can pose some dangers to travelers.
Carbon emissions from aviation were accountable for 2.5 percent of total global emissions in 2018 and have increased by 32 percent between 2013 and 2018. Can aviation go green? Electrical batteries are currently too heavy to work in airplanes. This is going to be the hardest transport to make sustainable do to the high costs associated with this industry.
Nevertheless, progress is being made. One company has suggested they will use a method of carbon offsetting where they invest in forestation to balance out the impact of the damage being done, however, I feel this method is misleading. Over 100,000 planes now use biofuel blends to operate. This is only a tiny fraction of the fuel being used within this industry but these numbers are growing and this method is the most promising so far.