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Travel Greener

Tips, tools and resources for getting around in more green ways to help reduce your carbon footprint
  • Quick Facts & Stats
  • Easy Tips & Tools
  • Green Products
  • Useful Resources

About Transportation

A gallon of gasoline is assumed to produce 8.8 kilograms (or 19.4 pounds) of carbon dioxide (CO2). This number is calculated from values in the Code of Federal Regulations at 40 CFR 600.113-78, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses to calculate the fuel economy of vehicles, and relies on assumptions consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines

To estimate your carbon footprint generated from driving, simply multiply the total number of gallons of gasoline used by 19.4 pounds of CO2 per gallon of gasoline or use our simple carbon footprint calculator

The total make-up of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) generated by motor vehicles is about 95% CO2, and about 5% a combination of methane, nitrous oxide and HCFC (from A/C system leaks)

In the U.S., the average CO2 produced per vehicle:   Cars: 9,700 lbs per year    Light Trucks/SUVs: 16,150 lbs per year

In 2001, the United States consumed 113.1 billion gasoline-equivalent gallons (GEG) to fuel passenger travel by light-duty vehicles, a rise of 3.3 percent per year from 1994, when 90.6 billion was consumedHousehold vehicles energy use in the U.S.

In 2001, consumers paid nearly equal amounts for energy used for household services (ranging from cooking and water heating to refrigeration and lighting) and for personal transport. The average household spent $1,520 on fuel purchases for transport and spent $1,493 for household services, just $27 more per year, as measured in nominal dollars

For comparison, in 2001, gasoline prices averaged $1.43 per gallon; in 2006, gasoline prices are expected to average $2.43 per gallon (a 71-percent increase in nominal terms and 52-percent increase when adjusted by inflation)

In 2001 there were 107.4 million households in the United States, of which nearly 98.9 million (92 percent) actually owned or possessed one or more vehicles, an increase of 1.8 percent per year from 1983, when 86 percent, or 72.2 million out of 84.4 million households, had possessed one or more vehicles

As of 2001, a recession year, the distribution of sales and scrappage rates had resulted in a household vehicle fleet of 191.0 million vehicles: 112.4 million (58 percent) passenger cars, 18.4 million (10 percent) vans, 23.2 million (12 percent) SUVs, 35.6 million (19 percent) pickups, and 1.4 million (1 percent) recreational vehicles

Traveling Greener

Personal Vehicles

Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

At least once a month, use a tire pressure gauge to make sure that your vehicle's tires are properly inflated, which can increase gas mileage by up to 3-4%

Avoid aggressive driving (speeding, abrupt starts & stops), as a no-cost way to increase your highway gas mileage by up to 50% and city mileage by 5%, as well as reduce wear and tear on your vehicle

Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1-2 percent

Although replacing your vehicle’s air filter when clogged, as recommended by the manufacturer, can increase your vehicle's acceleration performance by up to 6 -11 %, it will not really improve your gas mileage

About Town

Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and efficient, and it can reduce the distance you travel

When starting your vehicle in cold weather, avoid letting your vehicle idle for more than a minute

Commuting to Work

Arrange your work schedule, when possible, to avoid commuting during peak rush hours, which will save you gas and reduce travel time, and hopefully make commuting less stressful as well

Bicycling to Work

Take public transit at least once per week

Start carpooling to work, which can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint, but also do the same for your co-workers

Telecommute at least once a week, if your employer agrees to it, which can save you time otherwise spend commuting to work, while reducing green house gases

Ask your employer whether they would consider a 4 day (10 hr/day) work week at your company, which can save up to 1,500 gallons of gasoline per year per person

Long Distance Travel

long distance train

Take a train or bus, rather than an airplane, for longer trips. These days, many long distance buses and trains offer Internet access, which can help you keep connected while traveling

Consider video conferencing for work-related meetings rather than physically traveling to a meeting location. With today's broadband internet speeds and newer video compression technologies, the quality of video conferences has improved substantially compared to just a few years ago

Travel Greener

Digital Tire Pressure Gauges

About Traveling Greener

Find the most efficient new and used vehicles using the Find and Compare guide at, which is a site developed by both the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)