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Protecting the environment from vehicles
4/14/2010 9:20:45 AM

Protecting the environment from vehicles
 

Vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel give off air pollutants and gases such as oxides of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur, hydrocarbons and soot. These pollutants affect the quality of the air we breathe, our health, crop yields and even the global climate.

 

Hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen react in sunlight to form ground level ozone, better known as smog. Ozone is a major health hazard. Oxides of sulphur and nitrogen combine with water vapor to from acid rain, which damages our lakes, forests and corps.

 

Global warming is the result of to much carbon dioxide and other gases trapping heat in our atmosphere. Global warming could cause average temperatures to rise, causing droughts, crop failures, lower water levels and more frequent and severe storms. A car gives off less carbon dioxide than a larger vehicle, such as an airplane, truck, bus or train, does. However, because so many people own cars and drive them so often, cars are responsible for half the carbon dioxide produced by all forms of transportation. Vehicles that carry large numbers of passengers, such as buses, produce less carbon dioxide per passenger than cars.

 

As a driver, you can help to protect the environment from the harmful effects of driving by following these suggestions:

 

o   Keep your vehicle well-tuned and make sure your tires are properly inflated. Have the pollution controls on your vehicle checked regularly.

o   Walk, cycle, carpool or take public transit instead of driving whenever possible.

o   Do not leave your engine running while your vehicle is parked.

o   If you are buying a new vehicle, buy the most efficient one you can. The less fuel a vehicle burns, the less pollution it creates.

o   Think about using fuels that are less harmful to the environment, such a propane, ethanol or natural gas.

o   If your vehicle has an air conditioning system, use refrigerants that are harmful to the environment. These must be collected for recycling where you have your air conditioning system repaired.

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