As we learn more about the potential effects of climate change, many of us are exploring ways to reduce our “carbon footprint” or how much carbon dioxide is created by the choices we make in our homes, our travel, the food we eat, and what we buy and throw away. In Minnesota, more than 25% of the carbon dioxide emitted into the air is from motor vehicles, making cars one of the largest contributors to our individual carbon footprints.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to immediately reduce our individual carbon footprints is to drive less, especially driving alone less often. While buses and light rail transit produce more CO2 per mile traveled than a single occupant vehicle, the higher number of passengers really makes a difference. Because buses average 10 passengers, your individual share of carbon dioxide produced when riding the bus is about half what it would be when you drive alone. If you can take light rail, your carbon reductions are even greater. If health, schedule, or location obstacles prevent you from commuting by transit regularly, consider looking into car or van-pooling to reduce your carbon footprint. Even finding one person to ride with you can have a big impact.