Rule of Thumb #2 - 1 Mile=1Pound

2006onepoundgoldproof768322 One mile = One pound!
Each mile you drive your car contributes about one pound of CO2 into the atmosphere. Drive six miles to work, that's six pounds. Drive 10,000 miles a year, that's 10,000 pounds--five tons!

Here's how it works:
Burning a gallon of gasoline emits about 19.4 pounds of CO2 out of your car's tailpipe. In addition, Oil_pumping_jacks exploration, drilling and extraction emit greenhouse gases; giant oil tankers transport the gas, burn fuel and emit CO2; refineries use energy to change crude oil to gasoline and emit additional greenhouse gas emissions; trucks or pipelines transport the fuel to your local gas station, adding more emissions to the equation.

Add together the tailpipe emissions with the emissions needed to get the fuel Vlcc_oil_tankerfrom the ground into your car and the total is about 25 pounds per gallon. So if your car gets 25 miles per gallon, your CO2 emissions are just about exactly 1 pound per mile. If you have a highly fuel efficient car that gets 50 mpg, then your emissions are about 1/2 pound per mile. If your car gets less than 25 mpg, then your emissions are greater than 1 pound per mile.

Here's a table that shows CO2 emissions per 1000 miles of driving based on the miles-per-gallon efficiency of your car:


So every trip matters: a quick 1/2 mile to the coffee shop and 1/2 mile back = 1 pound of emissions Coffee_cup_burlap_and_bean (a 16 oz. coffee is about a pound. . .go figure!). Each time you choose another way to go: walk, bike, skateboard, transit, make your coffee at home instead--you are saving real pounds of CO2. Now with this rule of thumb you know how many.

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