Did you know?
- Transportation can affect our health and the environment. The use of fossil fuels affects the air we breathe and produces greenhouse gases. Run-off from roads affects our waterways and used cars, tyres, and oil require careful disposal.
- Transport emissions include both particulate emissions that are harmful to your health and greenhouse gas emissions that affect the atmosphere.
- Walking and cycling are active and sustainable ways of travelling. They also generate significant benefits for your health and the economy.
- New Zealand has one of the highest rates of vehicle ownership in the developed world. The number of vehicles on our roads jumped 15 per cent between 1997 and 2005.
- On average, our cars are getting older, we are driving them further, and their engines are getting bigger.
- Use of public transport is increasing, with a 45 per cent increase in usage nationwide between 1999 and 2006.
For more information about the impacts of transport on the environment see Environment New Zealand 2007 at www.mfe.govt.nz
What can you do?
- Buying a new car or late-model car? Compare the environmental and fuel performance at www.rightcar.govt.nz and look for the vehicle's fuel economy label. The more stars the more you save n fuel, and the lower your emissions.
- Inflate your tyres correctly and you'll use up to 5 per cent less fuel.
- Help lower air pollution, fuel use, and traffic congestion by leaving your car at home, especially for short trips – car engines use 20 per cent more fuel and produce up to 20 times the exhaust emissions when cold.
- Taking public transport and sharing car trips can save you money on fuel and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
- Walking and cycling are ideally suited to short trips. It is good exercise and can save you money.
- Look out for walking school buses in your community to give your children a safe, sustainable way to travel to school.