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Where possible, we should aim to minimise, and compensate for, our transport impacts. After all, the motor car is rapidly developing into the single largest source of greenhouse gases in the modern world.
In New Zealand, we have one of the highest rates of car ownership in the world and traffic is the biggest source of air pollution in many urban areas. Older cars, poorly-maintained cars and traffic congestion cause most of the problems.
The responsibility to reduce this source does not just lie with car manufacturers and roading authorities, but with us as well.
The most fundamental thing we can do is reduce the need for excessive travelling in the first place.
Also consider the alternatives to private vehicles for transport. Walk or use a bicycle, use public transport or organise a car pool.
Of course, in the real world, we cannot always choose where we want to live, and there may be few public transport options available even if we want to use them.
In the meantime, we may be stuck with the need for private transport. But there are still ways we can reduce our impact on the environment.
When buying a new vehicle, look at the range of vehicles available:
With your existing car:
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (www.eeca.govt.nz )
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