More and more travellers are exploring new places with an eco-conscience – in other words, doing all they can to reduce their environmental impact whilst on holiday.
There are so many different aspects to travelling that can impact the environment, and thus can be made more sustainable. But one key aspect you may not have given much thought to is the impact of hiring a vehicle at your destination. Your first concerns when hiring a car are likely to be convenience and cost. But taking the time to consider how it will impact the environment, as well as what you can do to reduce these impacts, will go a long way to helping limit the carbon footprint of your holiday.
By making a few simple changes, you can help reduce your carbon footprint and make your holiday travel more eco-friendly. In this post, we’ll explain why it’s so important to consider the emissions of your hire car, and highlight some of the ways you can reduce the eco impact of your holiday in this department.
If you’re planning a road trip or any other type of holiday, you might be considering hiring a car. But what is the carbon footprint of a hire car? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just looking at the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. The size and weight of the car also play a role, as does the distance travelled. And of course, how you drive also makes a difference. Fast acceleration and braking can use up more fuel, as can driving at high speeds. Particularly if it’s a road trip, you’ll have to also consider the extra weight of your luggage, which forces the car to work harder and ultimately increases emissions.
When hiring a car, most people focus on finding the right vehicle for their needs and budget. However, it’s also important to consider its carbon footprint. When thinking about the environmental damage of cars, hire or otherwise, It’s not just about the emissions from the exhaust pipe. Cars also use a lot of resources which need to be extracted from the Earth, and these processes can have damaging effects on the planet’s ecosystems.
Emissions from cars are a major contributor to air pollution, and the manufacturing process for cars uses a large amount of energy and resources. In addition, cars consume a lot of fossil fuels, which release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The transportation sector is responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. As a result, finding ways to reduce the environmental impact of cars is essential for protecting the planet.
By no means are we looking to discourage you from hiring a car – they can provide so many benefits after all, not least the added convenience. The good news is it’s not all doom and gloom – there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the carbon footprint of your hire car.
First, make sure to choose a fuel-efficient vehicle. Manufacturers are naturally looking to make all of their vehicles more energy efficient, but you could go one step further and forgo fossil fuels altogether. If possible, opt for an electric car, as these models will produce no emissions whilst on the roads, making them the inherently cleaner option compared to a traditional petrol or diesel car. As reported in this guide to the sustainability of electric cars, switching to electric reduces the operating footprint of passenger vehicles by as much as 75%.
If you do decide to go electric, be sure to familiarise yourself with the local charging stations at your destination, and check whether there is a charging point at your accommodation. This will ensure you are never caught short of charge whilst out on the roads, which is a surefire way to ruin any day out.
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to avoid using the air conditioning. While this may seem like a small change, it can make a big difference over the course of a journey. Finally, try to avoid making unnecessary trips. If you can walk or cycle instead of driving, you’ll not only save on emissions but also get some exercise as part of the bargain. These alternative methods of travel are also a great way to explore a new place, and see it in a way you wouldn’t be able to on four wheels.
With a little research, you can easily find a hire car that will meet your needs without causing excessive damage to the environment. So next time you’re hiring a car, remember to think about the carbon footprint of your choice. It could make all the difference to the planet.