Fighting climate change

Fighting climate change on the road

Dear New Yorkers,

Pollution produced by transportation is one of the biggest drivers of climate change in the world right now. Although we all depend on various forms of transportation to live our daily lives, there are many adjustments we can make to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the vehicles we use and to reduce the impact they have on our environment. By making small changes in the way we use transportation, we can all do our part to fight climate change. Here, we offer many tips that can help you drive “green” and may even save you some “green” on every trip.

New York State Attorney General Signature
Headshot of Attorney General Letitia James
aerial view of a 4 lane highway with cars going in both directions

Fighting climate change on the road

Transportation is the source of about half of all climate-change pollution emitted in the US — the average car releases 35 pounds of carbon dioxide each day. Driving “green” reduces your contribution to climate change and saves you money.

Green your ride

A car using 20 miles per gallon (mpg) releases about 50 tons of climate-change pollution over its lifetime. A car running at 40 mpg releases about half that much, and saves about $3,000 in fuel costs. Fuel-efficient, low-carbon-emission cars on the market serve almost every need. Consider one if you’re looking for a new car.

Skip a trip

Try cutting out one car trip per week to fight climate change. Skipping a single 20-mile trip each week can cut damaging pollution by 1,200 pounds annually — and, in the process, can save you over $100 in gas.

Chill out

Jackrabbit starts, speeding, frequent braking, and other forms of aggressive driving can reduce gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% in town. This burns 125 extra gallons of gas and costs more $250 annually per car and contributes much more climate-change pollution than non-aggressive driving.

Share the road

A typical 2005-model year car costs about 31¢ per mile in gas, maintenance, and depreciation to drive. By carpooling, drivers share these costs and take extra cars off the road. Everyone involved saves fuel and money, and cuts emissions of climate-change pollution.

Don’t be idle

Idling a car gets the worst gas mileage possible: 0 miles per gallon! In fact, idling more than 10 seconds uses more gas, and produces more climate-change pollution, than turning on your car and restarting it.

Public trans-it!

In general, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation produce half the climate-change pollution per passenger mile than private cars. Join the fight for clean air — use public transportation.

Lighten up

Check out what’s in your trunk. Each extra 100 pounds your car carries can reduce gas mileage by up to 2%. And remember to keep your tires properly inflated at all times — you can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3%.

Slow it down

Exceeding the highway speed limit by just 5 miles per hour can reduce your car’s average fuel economy by 6%. Next time you’re on the highway, remember that following the speed limit is not only the law — it’s good for your wallet and the environment.

Tune it up

Keeping your car properly tuned can boost your gas mileage by up to 40% — and save well over $300 annually. In fact, replacing your air filter alone can result in 10% more miles per gallon.

Spread the word

Tell your family and friends how they, too, can help fight climate change on the road.

Office of the New York State Attorney General, Environmental Protection Bureau
518-776-2400 - Albany
212-416-8446 - New York City
Environmental Protection Bureau

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA)
1-866-NYSERDA (697-3732)

U.S. Department of Energy