Have You Stopped To Think How You Can Help?
Most motorists don't realize that a quick one-mile trip to the dry cleaners emits up to 70 percent as much pollution as a ten-mile excursion with several stops. If Bay Area residents could cut their cold starts by 25 percent, we could remove up to 97 tons of pollutants from the air each day. What an achievement!
Motor vehicles are the largest source of air pollution in the Bay Area. Surprisingly, non-commuters make 75% of all automobile trips. An effective way for non-commuters to reduce automobile pollution is to "Trip-Link," or to combine several small car trips into one larger trip.
Non-commuters include parents taking their kids to school, seniors, shoppers, weekend travelers, church goers. . .in effect, everyone who drives. Commuters, too, add to the non-commuter problem when they leave their office by car during the day to run errands or go out to lunch.
If you must drive, you can reduce your auto's pollution by minimizing "cold starts". A cold car, one that been sitting for an hour or more, pollutes up to five time more than a warm car. This is because the engine's air pollution control device, the catalytic converter, takes several minutes to warm up and work efficiently. By linking trips together and keeping your car engine warm, you can avoid cold starts.
Trip Linking is easy and will save you money and time. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Keep a running list of errands you need to do.
- Try to match items on your list that are located near each other.
- For example, if your child's school is located near your dry cleaner and post office, three trips could be linked together into one!
- Give yourself enough time and plan ahead.
- Think before you drive:
"Do I really need to make this trip?"
"How can I combine this errand with another trip I'll be making this week?"