Reducing car use and greening your car
One way of reducing your own carbon footprint is reducing your vehicle use or by simply making your car more sustainable with a few changes to the way you drive.
Cutting your vehicle use
Plan your trips so you fit in several errands on the one journey.
Avoid making short trips by car - walk, cycle or catch public transport. Or even buy a scooter or skateboard for short trips.
Organise a car pool with your neighbours, friends or work colleagues.
Purchase equipment to allow you to teleconference or videoconference and reduce the need for road or air travel.
Ride to work for health, financial and environmental benefits. Join the Ride2Work
program in October to kickstart your confidence with cycling.
Read up on cycling
through North Sydney and find maps
for the local area
Join Easy Riders
- a bicycle commuter group in Sydney's North Shore
Ask your employer to install a bike rack at work.
Plan social events at work or at home that are close to public transport or within walking distance.
If you're a parent with school-aged children, ask your school whether they run a 'walking bus'
to and from school. If they don't, join other parents and start one up. Contact the Council on 9936 8100 for details about which North Sydney schools operate a 'walking bus' and for information on how to start one up.
- Mix it up - walk to the railway station and catch a train; cycle to the bus stop and catch a bus.
Send freight by rail instead of road.
If you're a retired resident or have difficulty using public transport, use North Sydney's community transport service instead. Community transport
involves a small bus that picks up and drops off residents at selected stops to do shopping, visit the doctor or go to the bank - all for a nominal fee.
Tips on making your car more sustainable
- Regularly service and tune your vehicle to reduce oil and fuel consumption.
- Ensure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and are properly aligned, again to cut fuel use and engine wear and tear that leads to greater oil consumption.
- Minimise aerodynamic drag caused by roof racks, spoilers and bull bars.
- Drive smoothly - unnecessary braking and acceleration leads to greater fuel consumption.
- If driving a manual vehicle, drive using the correct gear to match your speed.
- Avoid driving in peak periods if at all possible.
- Consider switching to a four cylinder or hybrid car if you are currently driving a fuel-hungry six cylinder or four wheel drive vehicle.
- At 110kms an hour, your car will use 25% more fuel than if you're driving at 90kms an hour. Use cruise control if you have it fitted in your vehicle.
- Don't allow your vehicle to idle for long periods if caught in traffic - switch it off instead.
- Use air-conditioning sparingly. If the weather is fine, switch it off and open a window instead.
- Travel light - an extra 50kgs in weight can increase fuel consumption by 2%.
- Take heavy items such as golf clubs and tool boxes out of the boot when they're not needed.
- If you're an employer with a vehicle fleet, join Green Fleet which offers a carbon offset program.
Click here for details of North Sydney's resident parking permit scheme. The scheme has a sliding scale of charges according to vehicle type.