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.

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