In today’s modern era, we are so fortunate to have the luxury of different forms of transportation, specifically automobiles. Cars make every day travel so efficient and easy that we rarely have to think about getting from place to place regardless of whether or not we own a car considering ubers, taxis, and buses. Even though vehicles enable an easier life, their immense carbon dioxide emissions strain the earth and continues to contribute to global warming.
According to the the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s article titled Greenhouse Gas Emissions, for every 1 mile that an average passenger vehicle drives, 404 grams of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere which is .1 short of a pound. 1 gallon of gasoline contains 8,887 grams of CO2 which is roughly 19 pounds and a gallon of diesel contains 10,180 grams or 22 pounds carbon dioxide. Just as we discussed in class, a number can have much more meaning depending on its relevance to another number. A typical passenger car holds 16 gallons of gas which multiplied by the amount of carbon dioxide in 1 gallon is for one car alone 142,192 grams. Similarly, the amount of CO2 that a car emits after driving one mile is not significant alone until the entire distance that one drives is considered. For example, it is 142 miles from my home to Union College one way driving which multiplied by the amount of carbon dioxide that a car emits per mile equals 57, 368 grams or 126 pounds. Four of my school friends are from the same area that I am from, though only one of them carpools leaving three cars plus my own to drive the same distance up to Union one way for a grand total of 229,472 grams of carbon dioxide or 207 pounds.
While transportation is incredibly useful, it should not be abused considering that more often than not the same people aspire to travel to the same place. Carpooling is a sustainable option to preserve our earth and prevent more CO2 emissions from destroying our future generations life and health. While it may seem inconvenient to walk to the store a mile down the street, the amount of countless times that one chooses to drive back and fourth from home to the market will only further negatively and needlessly impact our earth from CO2 emission.
I thought your blog was very interesting as it really put those numbers into perspective. I never thought about converting the amount of carbon dioxide I produce through driving into pounds, which really helped me to visualize the impact I am having on the environment. In reading your blog, I was curious to see what levels of carbon dioxide electric cars produce, if any. I found out that chargeable vehicles, though they do not produce no carbon dioxide, they still produce less than standard cars, so investing in one of them could also be an effective way to lower one’s carbon footprint.
Your post is super well-informed and raises a lot of interesting points! I also read an article by the EPA which stated that transportation is responsible for the second greatest amount of CO2 emissions out of the different sectors of the US economy. Power plants are first, accounting for 31% of greenhouse gas emissions, followed by transportation, accounting for 26%. I think that making changes to our everyday transportation, whether you’re choosing to carpool with friends or walk instead when the weather’s nice, are simple ways to help reduce these numbers.
I totally agree with Megan! I had never really thought about how many grams or pounds are in 1 gallon of gasoline before, but this data is eye opening. It really makes you wonder why we aren’t limiting how often we drive a car and opt for walking/biking instead. Also, given this data there should definitely be more of a push for people to use electric cars!
I think it is really important to consider the amount of CO2 our cars are emitting because I find myself not necessarily thinking about that when I drive from place to place. I think your data is really helpful and emphasizes that we should consider more sustainable options for transportation. There are ten people from my town that go to Union and I am sure very few of us carpool, but if we did we could minimize the amount of CO2 emissions.