In recent years, we’ve come to realize that we need to reduce our individual carbon footprint. Or as I like to refer to it, CAR-bon footprint.

Even if it’s by a teeny tiny bit, it all adds up. It’s time we all put a concerted effort into making lasting changes for the environment that not only benefit us but also improve our children’s and grandchildren’s future. And for some of us, even our great grandchildren. The planet is in crisis and most of us know it and acknowledge it.

By taking simple steps now, we as individuals can do something to collectively help reduce our carbon footprint and help the environment. Thinking about our daily activities and doing small things can help. And one of those small things is to consider how we get around. Ergo, our modes of transportation.

A Return to the One Car Family

If you’re a two-car family, you’re potentially doubling the amount of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions you produce. By opting to drive just one car, you’ll reduce these emissions and also save yourself a lot of money—in depreciation value for starters, never mind gas, insurance and maintenance costs—money that could be used to finance other more energy conscious modes of transportation.

Use Public Transportation

Big city dwellers have the option to use public modes of transportation such as subways, REM light-rail transit, inter-city electric buses, trains and taxi services that have a lower environmental impact.

Or, Choose a More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle

In 2035, Canadians will see a ban come into effect regarding the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles. So perhaps when it’s time to trade in your old vehicle, you’ll want to consider leasing or buying an EV.

On the cost savings front, nevermind the environment front, a research study and subsequent book, “Elements of Environmental Management” by Professor Werner Antweiler, suggests that “A typical car consumes about 9 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers, some less and some more, and more in city driving than in highway driving. Let us assume that the average car drives 15,000 kilometers per year. An electric vehicle consumes roughly 25 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 kilometers, once you include air conditioning or other electricity use in the car. The average cost of gasoline last year was around $1.30 per liter, and the average cost of electricity around $0.13 per kWh. This implies that the annual cost of driving with gasoline is $1,755 whereas the annual cost of driving with electricity is $487.50. Driving with gasoline is about four times as expensive as driving with electricity.”

Use Car Sharing Services

Car-sharing is a great way to reduce your overall car expenses: All you pay is a membership fee, you only pay for each trip you take – included is a car in good driving condition, insurance and gas. Depending on your membership conditions, reservations may be required for trips planned in advance. Car-sharing would eliminate all the hassles of ownership and could well lead to less vehicles on the roads if more people partook of this sort of service. Check online for availability in your city, for example in Vancouver.

Active Transport Can Also Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Walking and biking are two simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint and that of your family. Instead of driving kids (or grandkids) to school and to their extracurricular activities , encourage them to ride their bikes or walk right from an early age. Introducing them to active transport at a young age will instil a more health-conscious lifestyle which will, hopefully, accompany them throughout their lives. And of course, you can walk or bike to your own engagements!

Need help riding around? Invest in an electric bike if you need to cover a lot of ground or you simply want to get there faster!

Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact

Endeavouring to do any or all of the above may seem like a small solution to a huge problem. But it’s better than doing nothing. Every little bit we can do to lessen our impact as individuals on the environment can add up to a huge impact overall. The planet and future generations may well thank us.