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Living the Green Life

Be a Friend of the Environment: Sustainable Transportation

Get There Green! 2023

person getting off of a public bus
Taking public transport is a great way to Get There Green!

Small changes in daily habits can make a big difference when it comes to our environment. Take transportation for example, using sustainable modes of transport can reduce emissions and save on fossil fuel usage. Looking to get started and help our environment? Then take part in this year's 2023 Get There Green! event. This statewide event is taking place from September 17-24 and invites participants to use environmentally friendly modes of transportation. You can:

  • Walk--not only is it great exercise, but it provides the opportunity to explore the great outdoors and enjoy nature's scenic views from trees to birds, and more.
  • Bike--another form of transport which combines the benefits of fitness. New York State is home to many bike paths which you can explore and travel (leaves DEC's website). Don't forget to wear your safety equipment. Also, check out community-shared bike programs.
  • Ride public transport--buses, subways, and trains benefit both commuters and our environment. Electric buses are becoming more popular throughout New York State.
  • Carpool--ride with a friend and you will also have company on your travels. If you must travel alone, limit the length of your road trip if you cannot use public transportation.
  • Drive electric--looking for a new vehicle? Consider purchasing or leasing an electric model (leaves DEC's website). Charging stations are becoming more common throughout our state. Another option to be more environmentally-friendly while driving is to downsize your ride to a smaller, more energy-efficient model. Be practical and select the right size model for your household and/or business needs.

Safely take a selfie of your green travels and share using #GTG23. Get there green and incorporate sustainable methods of transportation into your daily routine year-round. Taking part in green commute options means we will all benefit with cleaner air from less emissions, a reduction in energy-consumption because of less fossil fuel usage, minimizing our impact on the causes of climate change, and so much more. Read more about Get There Green!

Did you know that?

  • It is best not to top off your gas tank. Doing this can hurt your vehicle's emissions system. Gas pumps are intended to turn off at a fuel level which provides room in the tank for proper emissions system operations.
  • It is beneficial to keep up with your vehicle maintenance. Check your tire pressure regularly to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce tailpipe emissions. Other regular maintenance items include changing oil as required, checking coolant levels, and cleaning or replacing air filters.
  • Virtual conferences and meetings have increased in popularity. These reduce the need for transportation and there are a variety of software selections available to help meet virtually.

Be a friend of the environment

people biking along on a designated bike trail

Time to refuel--Minimize fuel vapor evaporation by filling up when temperatures are cooler (morning and evening). When you refuel, fuel vapors can escape which can result in ozone formation on summer days. Ozone damages crops, structures, and human health.

Cool down--crack your window instead of running your air conditioner. Using the wind to cool your vehicle means better gas mileage because your engine is doing less work.

Also, check to see if your air conditioner is fully charged with refrigerant, so you get maximum output for the least input. If your vehicle's refrigerant is low, purchase an AC recharge kit for Do-It-Yourself refilling, or make an appointment with a repair shop. Only run your air conditioner on high until it reaches the desired temperature and then you can turn it down to save on fuel.

You "can"--keep vapors in the gas can where they belong. If you have an old model gas can, buy a new version that seals automatically when the spout is not in use. Vapor escaping from gas cans creates tons of air pollution per day. These vapors include benzene, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which can trigger asthma and make ozone.

Save gas--use these quick tips:

  • Avoid fast starts and excessive brake use. Ease off the gas pedal when coming up on a red light or stop sign.
  • Drive the speed limit.
  • Carpool and combine trips when you can.
  • Make a green choice when buying a new car.
  • Good tire maintenance = better mileage. Consider buying "low rolling resistance" tires.
  • Check wheel alignment as misaligned wheels will increase fuel use.
  • Remove items from your car that you don't need to decrease the weight your car is pulling.
  • Keep the engine tuned. Check the vehicle's owner's manual for a list of maintenance items.
  • Avoid unnecessary idling. Remember, this yields zero miles per gallon.
Sign up for DEC Delivers

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Plan your route--this is helpful for bike riders and results in fuel savings for motor vehicle drivers. Tire under-inflation raises fuel use by up to 6 percent in gas powered vehicles.

Drive safe and smart--speeding and tailgating can decrease gas mileage by 40 percent.

Sustainable transportation is an important part of Living the Green Life. Share a selfie of your green commute (taken safely) with us by using #GTG23 on social media. Share your tips to Get There Green! with us as well by using #LiveGreenNY.

Visit this page again next month as we offer tips for home fuel tank owners.