Environment leave that truck in the driveway electricity n and l

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Don’t little kids love trucks! We can see why, since they are amazing vehicles that transport our goods from hither and yon, constantly on the move, and helping to make our economy function. They make it possible for us to go into a store and purchase what we need. Pickup trucks are invaluable vehicles that haul our goods for home projects, big purchases, trash hauling — you name it. And for many, their truck is their mobile shop with materials, tools and machinery immediately available on the job site.

But there are plenty of trucks on the roads that are empty. Maybe there’s an intended purpose for that trip — either heading out to get a load or just returning from dropping something off. But using trucks for everyday transport to town for a quart of milk or groceries costs you a lot of money for gas and also contributes to excess carbon emissions.

If there is a car available, one that is more efficient, doesn’t it make sense to take that vehicle? We tend to jump into the vehicle we regularly drive, but thinking about driving the most efficient car is of vital importance these days as our carbon dioxide numbers soar.

While we cannot avoid our car engine running while stopped at a traffic light or in slow moving traffic there are some habits that we adopt that are unhealthy for our local air and have been linked to asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and cancer.

You might consider turning your car off, instead of leaving it in idle, while you dash into the store for a quick purchase. Depending on the vehicle you can save significant quantities of gasoline for each hour of idling. You may not realize how much time you allow the car to idle needlessly. Even when we are stopped for road construction delays — many of us sit with the car idling and producing senseless emissions.

There are complaints from parents about the systems for dropping off children or picking them up after school. When I was in school we had older children who were responsible and careful, who took small groups of younger students to meet a waiting parent a block away. Can’t we figure out a better system for student drop off and pick up that would use many fewer gallons of gasoline and spew fewer emissions into the air?

Always amazing is that long line of cars at In-n-Out Burger. It certainly is a popular choice for people to grab a burger, but it takes a long time sitting in the car idling as customers inch their way to get their burgers. If you have the time why not park the car and walk inside, which would save money and be healthier for you?

Electric cars are an interesting alternative to have in your driveway, particularly if you have solar panels. More and more electric vehicles are now available. And rebates are still being offered. A new electric car (Chevy Spark, Nissan Leaf, Bolt, Tesla and many more) allows a $7,500 tax rebate ( https://www.carfax.com/blog/hybrid-electric-tax-credits) and the state of California will send you a check for $2,500 ( https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng/eligible-vehicles). PG& E will also send you a $500 check for a new or used electric vehicle. No gasoline costs, no oil changes ever. Plug-in hybrids will also provide tax rebates and checks, though about one third less in rebates.

You may think the cost of buying an electric car is prohibitive, but there are many used electric vehicles available that are sold at good prices, especially if you look online. What an easy, clean air solution for a quick trip to the grocery store or even to pick up or drop off your child at school without any emissions or gasoline costs!

There are charging stations dotting the map and apps to give information about the number of chargers at each location. Recharging costs are minimal. Also your PG& E rates are much lower for electric vehicle charging than household electric charges. Check it out https://www.pge.com/tariffs/assets/pdf/tariffbook/ELEC_SCHEDS_EV.pdf.

Another transportation consideration is air travel. Airlines carry us across the planet for all sorts of reasons, some that are of utmost importance. But some trips are voluntary and contribute to our planet’s climate imbalance. If you could reduce your air travel by even one trip a year it would be a worthwhile move — dramatically lowering your carbon emissions while demonstrating your concern for the planet and all life.

We cannot discuss transportation choices without talking about the options of walking and biking. Many of us try to stay healthy by exercising at a health club or elsewhere, but a free opportunity awaits you when you choose to walk or bike from one place to another. If you need items at two stores located near each other (Food for Less and Walmart or Safeway and the Co-op), you could park where you’ll buy the most items and walk to and from the other. It’s worth considering where you can fit in some extra steps.

For those who live in town biking is an excellent alternative for those quick trips to the store. It’s fun, great exercise, and feels like you’re a kid again. All you need is a bike, a backpack or a basket on the bike and you’re set to go getting exercise and helping reduce carbon emissions.