How Driving Commutes in Your State are Affecting Global Climate Change

Infographic by Heidi Theil; with introduction by Green and Prosperous

Early yesterday morning I sat seething in my car after finishing a 1.5-hour commute (one way!) to my kids’ school, a journey that normally takes a little over half an hour. Among my gripes (Why is it that SOME folks just can’t drive in the rain? Why is public transportation here so much slower and more expensive than driving?) and promises (I will carpool to work next year when my kids can take the school shuttle; my next vehicle WILL be 100% electric) was a thought that I have often had while sitting in bad traffic in the metro Washington, D.C. area. How much longer can we keep up this love affair with our gas-powered vehicles before it’s too late to do anything about reversing climate change?

According to scientists, it’s under 12 years.

Most of us are aware that CO2 emissions from gas-powered cars and trucks contribute a significant amount of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and are primary drivers of climate change. While the transportation industry in the US has done some things to begin addressing the problem, they also face the resistance of powerful oil industry and their lobbyists, who continue drill new oil and gas pipelines in North America, backed by an industry-friendly Trump administration. The real impetus to tackle the impact that transportation has on climate change is coming from the private sector, with companies like Tesla, Chevrolet, and Ford manufacturing all-electric vehicles that are increasingly affordable and feasible for the average customer to purchase and use for both daily commutes and longer road trips. Although it still costs more to insure your electric vehicle, as their prices come down, so will insurance rates.

Some states are doing a much better job than others in providing eco-friendly options for commuting, and have been encouraging eco-conscious companies to set up shop. This infographic by Heidi Theil at The Zebra contains tells you more about how different states rank in their contribution to the problem(s) of and solution(s) to transportation-fueled climate change, and offers a few tips on how you can decrease your daily commute’s carbon footprint.

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Heidi Thiel is a freelance writer and content creator with a passion for eco-conscious living. She currently writes for a variety of industries including vegan and low-impact lifestyle, travel, and technology.

 

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