TRAVEL & TRANSPORTATION

According to the most recent statistics available from the EPA (year 2017) transportation was the largest and fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy in terms of green house gas emissions. With 29% of emissions, it was ahead of electricity generation (28%) and industry (22%). Within transportation, light duty vehicle (aka mostly cars) were responsible for 59% of emissions, versus light duty trucks (23%) and aircraft (9%). Ships and Rail travel represented only 3% and 2% respectively.

The options available to consumers to reduce such transportation-related emissions are often limited by a lack of availability or practicality (i.e. public transportation in rural and suburban areas and few substitutes to aircraft for long distance travel). Nevertheless, choices exist for everyone to reduce the environmental impact of travel and transportation in general.

Commuting and short distance travel: According to the American Public Transportation Association, as of 2018, 45% of Americans had no access to public transportation. Thus, for a very large portion of the U.S. population, choosing clean and energy-efficient automobiles and light trucks is one the best ways to reduce their travel and transportation carbon footprint. Previously, fully electric cars were too pricey and their range too limited to be a practical choice for the average consumer. Now however, more affordable electric vehicles are being offered by such companies as Tesla (Model 3), GM, Volkswagen, and Japanese and Korean manufacturers. These EVs have already arrived or will soon arrive to the U.S market, and will be fully competitive against gasoline engine-driven vehicles. In the meantime, most of the largest manufacturers already offer a full range of highly efficient hybrid vehicles whose premium costs can be offset by fuel savings in as little as 2 years.

Long Distance travel. When it comes to U.S. long-distance travel, alternatives to airlines are unfortunately severely limited. If Amtrak and long-distance bus travel is not for you, two options are available: Reduce the numbers of flights you take or purchase carbon offsets. Many U.S. airlines have been offering carbon offset programs for many years already, including UnitedDelta and JetBlue. These companies generally work with recognized NGOs to warrant the legitimacy and efficiency of the emissions-fighting projects they fund, and the additional cost is modest, especially compared with all other airlines fees and government taxes! For a good introduction to travel carbon offsets programs, please consult the link below:

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/everything-you-need-to-know-carbon-offsetting-flights/

TESLA MODEL 3

IMAGE COURTESY OF: TESLA

The Tesla Model 3 is a popular electric vehicle produced by Elon Musk as part of the Tesla line. Unveiled on March 31, 2016, tens of thousands of people lined up to put a deposit down to reserve a Model 3. One week later, Tesla announced that it had over 325,000 reservations. The original name was Model E (which they had to abandon). With the Model S and Model X, Musk was hoping the three models would spell SEX. He had to settle for “S3X.”

The All-Wheel-Drive version has two independent motors that digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels. It can drive on either motor, so if one stops working you can continue to drive. Tesla has over 14,000 Supercharger stations worldwide, and are adding six new locations every week.  It has a range of 250 miles (Standard Range Plus) and 322 miles (Long Range AWD/ Long Range Performance). The Model 3 can accelerate from 0-60 in as little as 3.2 seconds.

DID YOU KNOW

The first electric car was built in 1884 by Thomas Parker, a London innovator. The car ran on high-capacity rechargeable batteries.

GREEN BIKE USA

IMAGE COURTESY OF: GREEN BIKE USA

With 75 percent of Americans driving to work every day, the result is constant traffic jams, frayed nerves and a huge increase in greenhouse emissions. Green Bike USA would like you to leave your car at home and bike to work.

Fortunately, more and more people are opting for bikes as an alternative means of transportation. They are cheaper than cars and maneuverable in traffic, making them especially convenient for city commuting. Green Bike USA has from the beginning promoted the electric bike as a fun and environmentally friendly option.

Their bikes are portable as well, due to their foldability. The company even offers a kit that can turn a manual wheelchair into an electric vehicle. They call it FREEDOM and are hoping that’s what their customers will experience.

From full suspension folding e-bikes, to fat tire off road electric bicycles with powerful 500 watt motors; comfortable electric cruiser bikes, to adaptable electric mountain bikes, Green Bike USA remain committed to meeting the needs of their customers.

DID YOU KNOW

An e-bike might not be able to replace your car for some uses, but when comparing the environmental impacts, there’s really no question. If you use an e-bike as a replacement for driving a car, you are absolutely helping to curb your CO2 footprint and may even be more efficient than pedaling a traditional bicycle depending on your diet.

Rareform Duffle Bags (made from vinyl billboards)

IMAGE COURTESY OF: Rareform

Have you ever wondered what happens to a billboard once it’s taken down? Probably not, but when Alec Avedissian was in El Salvador, he saw his neighbors using billboards as roofing. It dawned on him: billboards are durable and weather resistant, made from vinyl, and are not traditionally recyclable. Being an avid surfer, he came back to the US, grabbed his brother, and found someone to sew a surfboard bag made from billboards. Several phone calls to some large billboard companies later, truckloads started showing up to their parents’ house. And so it began.

Today, Rareform, the company founded by brothers Alec and Aric, recycles billboard vinyl and turn it into unique, one-of-a-kind, durable bags and accessories. Over the past six years they’ve repurposed over 2 million pounds of vinyl that was destined for landfills.

Their Weekender Duffle is “a tribute to the timeless style of large volume duffle bags with a classic style.” It’s water resistant, versatile, and durable for everyday use.

In addition to duffle bags, Rareform makes totes, briefcases, backpacks, wallets, iPhone cases, laptop sleeves, and of course, surfboard bags.

Today, Rareform is repurposing 50,000 lbs. a month of billboard vinyl into one-of-a-kind products and keeping billboards out of landfills.

DID YOU KNOW

The average lifespan of a billboard is 4-8 weeks before it’s taken down and sent to a landfill where it will sit for many years to come.