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When it comes to finding the most eco-friendly way of transportation, one thing is certain – it is hard to give a straight answer because most times, it depends on many factors.
However, for the most part, we know that specific options are better than others.
In this article, you will find more about the most eco-friendly ways of transportation, both short-distance, and long-distance, and learn more about why it isn’t as simple as you thought.
Let’s jump right in.
Eco-Friedly Ways Of Transportation For Short Distance:
If you choose an eco-friendly way of transportation when traveling short distances such as to work, or university, riding a bike is one of the best options to get around.
Bicycles need no fuel to work and take up less road space. They are better for the environment and good for your health. If more people decide to bike around, cities will:
- have fewer cars and fewer traffic jams
- have fewer road expansions, which will ultimately help preserve plant and animal life
2. Electric bike
E-bikes are another great and cost-effective option to move around. E-bikes use electric power, along with human power, to move forward.
They do not release toxic gases. Furthermore, if you can charge the battery using green solar power, you will be using 100% environmentally friendly energy, making the electric bike a fantastic option.
You will save money in the long run and reach your destination fast, without getting stuck in traffic.
Assuming it is charged with an electric energy mix, an estimation is that an e-bike emits 40 to 140 times fewer pounds of greenhouse gases than a gas car.
Overall, an electric one can be a great alternative if you aren’t a huge fan of regular bikes.
3. Tram Or Metro
Nowadays, most trams use electrical power, and if your country gets its power from renewable sources, it is a great sustainable way to move around town.
They are also quite efficient, regular, and usually very affordable transportation options.
One of the biggest problems with cars is how we use them. When every single passenger uses their vehicle, we waste more gas per person.
Having fewer passengers per car also means that there will be more cars on the road, which increases traffic congestion and makes road travel inefficient.
Try carpooling with a friend, co-worker, or neighbor to reduce traffic congestion and minimize per-person gas emissions.
When you share your ride with people who need to get to the same or nearby destinations, you don’t just reduce your carbon footprint; you can also reduce your gas expenses.
Eco-Friedly Ways Of Transportation For Long Distance:
Travel longer distance means using a form of fossil fuel-reliant transportation. So let’s take a closer look at which is the best option you have and why.
Unlike bicycles, buses still burn fossil fuels. However, because buses can carry many people, they are much more environmentally friendly than cars.
Traveling long-distance with a bus means reducing the overall number of vehicles on the road, decreasing CO2 emissions, air pollution, and traffic congestion.
Trains are another eco-friendly option to travel around and an ideal option if you travel between distant cities or countries.
Trains offer similar environmental benefits as buses. Because trains have a large carrying capacity, they can move large numbers of people across distances while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
A report by the BBC revealed that Eurostar trains emit only 6g of CO2 per passenger per kilometer traveled, while domestic rails emit 41g per passenger per kilometer traveled.
In comparison, private cars emit 171g of CO2 per passenger per kilometer traveled. Also, trains have many advantages; they are fast, reliable, and comfortable.
7. Electric Vehicles
Another option is an electric car. Unlike traditional combustion engine cars, electric vehicles don’t use gas.
Instead, they get power from rechargeable batteries and energy from electricity.
Since electric cars don’t rely on petrol, their environmental impact is smaller than traditional regular combustion engine cars.
Where you live essentially will determine how clean your electricity is, and because electric cars still rely on it, those who want to minimize their electric car’s environmental impact can switch to renewable energy sources, such as solar power.
Hoymiles explains that investing in solar installations will let you power your car without contributing to the harmful practice of burning fossil fuels.
Going solar also has other benefits, such as reduced electric bills, energy independence, and tax credits.
In any case, electric cars are a much better option over their lifespan, and they don’t consume any near the fossil fuels that gas-powered cars do.
If you don’t have the opportunity to get an electric car, another efficient option is a small, light hybrid vehicle.
8. Hitchhiking Or Shared Transportation
Another alternative & eco-friendly way to travel around is by hitchhiking or using ridesharing apps.
Hitchhiking or sharing a ride with someone to another town results in (almost) no more carbon emission than the car you are getting into will release anyway.
Some great apps and websites for shared transportation include:
- Hitch – Ridesharing platform designed to make hitchhiking from city to city fast, safe, and affordable. Available in the US.
- Poparide – Fun, sustainable, and affordable to carpool from city to city in Canada with over 400,000 members.
- Waze Carpool – available in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, and Israel.
- BlaBlaCar – You can use it in 22 countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
- Moovit – Available worldwide.
- Ola – Available in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and India.
- Motar – Available across Europe.
- GoMore – Available in Denmark.
- sRide – Available in India.
- GoJek – Available in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.
- Check local Facebook groups for ridesharing
What is the best way to for traveling overseas?
It is a tricky question, and for now, the only two options for traveling to the other side of the world are – flying and taking a cruise.
Sailing may seem the better option, but some research found it is worse than flying. Additionally, it will take much longer to reach your destination.
That’s why, for oversea traveling, flying is the only option. To make flying a little bit better, you can follow those tips:
- Get a direct flight, if possible – they use significantly less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide than connecting flights
- Consider flying with air companies that strive to become more eco-friendly and use biodiesel
- Packing light helps reduce the weight of an aircraft, which pump less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
- Pick a sustainable travel destination
- Consider using a sustainable travel agent like Lokal
- If you use travel companies, consider booking with an eco-friendly one
- Book your stay using eco-friendly websites like – Book different, Eco Hotels, Eco Bnb, Veggie Hotels, etc.
- Consider volunteering
- Offset your carbon emissions
- Try to reduce the use of single-use plastics, and waste in general
- Use public transportation while at the location
How terrible is flying?
Unlike other transportation modes, there’s not a lot we can do (yet), to make flying more sustainable.
Aviation accounts for around 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, but its overall contribution to climate change is higher since it affects the climate in several more complex ways.
Generally, aircraft emissions are tough to calculate because there are also a lot of variables in play — how many seats are filled, how far and how high a plane travels, its route, the time of year and time of day, flight delays, and reroutings, etc.
What we know is that aviation emissions have doubled since the mid-1980s, and currently, global aviation (domestic and international) accounts for:
- 1.9% of greenhouse gas emissions; include all greenhouse gases, not only CO2 (2016)
- 2.5% of CO2 emissions (2018)
- 3.5% of ‘effective radiative forcing’ – a closer measure of its impact on warming (2018)
Another thing to consider is that 50% of GHG emissions from air travel, it is originating from just 1% of the world population, who are actually able to travel by plane.
Cutting GHG emissions from air travel lies in reducing its volume, particularly among the individuals who fly frequently.
What are the benefits of eco-friendly transportation?
Eco-friendly transportation options, such as bikes, public transport, and electric cars, can reduce the overall consumption of fossil fuels.
Decreasing the emission of harmful greenhouse gases can make the air cleaner, improving health and reducing people’s likelihood of developing respiratory diseases.
Using bicycles and public transportation also means putting fewer cars on the road. The lowered demand for road space then decreases the ground and water pollution caused by road construction.
Why can it be hard to determine the most eco-friendly way of transportation?
While some transportation options are better than others, sometimes it can be difficult or confusing to determine the best choice.
The most sustainable traveling options depend on many factors, and changes can make the conclusion different, including:
- The distance travel – How far a passenger can be moved with a gallon of fuel.
- The source of power – The energy required for a travel mode.
- Amount of passengers – How empty or full it is and the transportation mode’s capacity.
What is the most environmentally friendly way to travel?
Because they emit zero greenhouse gases, regular or e-bicycles are the most environmentally friendly short-distance travel option.
For long-distance travel, the “greenest” traveling option depends heavily on the distance travel, the source of power, and amount of passengers.
As a rule of thumb, in most cases, the bus is the most efficient option, then is the train, and lastly – a private vehicle or a plane.
What form of transportation is the worst for the environment?
Of all forms of transportation, airplanes and private cars are the worst forms of transportation, contributing to the most pollution.
In addition, because vehicles have lower carrying capacities than trains and buses, they emit more CO2 per passenger.
As it turns out, motor vehicles are the largest source of per capita GHG emissions in the United States, and the second-largest source in Europe; they are responsible for 21% of personal GHG emissions.
What barriers prevent people from using eco-friendly transportation?
For many, cars remain the most convenient travel option because they are the most widely available.
Unfortunately, not all cities have invested in public transport or adjusted their infrastructures to accommodate biker safety.
On the other hand, electric cars are inaccessible to people with limited financial means.
For eco-friendly transportation to gain traction worldwide, people need to work with local governments and promote the construction of efficient and more sustainable transportation systems.
While there isn’t a simple solution to this massive issue, it is essential to choose eco-friendly ways of travelling whenever possible.
The transportation sector is one of the world’s most significant contributors to pollution.
In 2014, it was reported that the transportation sector accounts for 28% of total greenhouse gases.
Luckily, most times, there are alternatives to better transportation options that are less harmful and better for our planet.
Just remember that everything depends on many factors, including where you live.
Try to collect additional information related to your local area to get the most accurate answer for the most eco-friendly transportation options you have.