Pollution due to automobiles is often dismissed as a general, far-off concept. However, its causes and effects both might be nearer than we think.
Mahindra and Tata have come up with renewable energy solutions through the Reva and the Nano (electric variant) Â respectively, and have arranged for government subsidies to act as incentives for customers to buy the cars.
However, despite these new entries into the automobile market – which are hopefully indicative of a developing trend – automobile-caused pollution is increasing every day. This is one of the major causes of air pollution and increasing carbon footprint – which leads to an intensified greenhouse effect.
What are the ways in which we can make changes in our daily life to reduce environmental damage, with regard to transport?
For one, public transportation is a convenient and cost-effective way of reducing carbon footprint. Many citizens can ride in a Metro or intra-city train together, or hop into autos or taxi-cabs.
People who live nearby to each other and are colleagues at the same workplace could carpool – travel to and from work in the same vehicle. This sounds simple, but it is remarkable how rarely it is carried out. For various reasons which are deemed important – lack of privacy, lack of convenience, delays waiting for the carpoolers to show up – carpools never seem to work beyond the first few days. However, it is just a question of broadening one’s perspective and thinking about the purpose of carpools – two people are travelling to the same place at the same time. So why not club them together and save petrol and reduce pollution caused by exhaust emissions? Also, companies like CommuteEasy have come up with solutions.
Another option is to walk to nearby spots. Is it really necessary to take the car out to drive down three roads to the supermarket, gym, yoga class or social lunch? It would not take much more time or energy to walk the distance instead.
Thirdly, as has been observed chiefly in Mumbai and Bangalore, cycling to destinations which are too far to walk to is a great transportation method. Made most popular by Hindi film actor Salman Khan through his charity Being Human, and having caught on majorly as a trend among the upper-middle-class and urban sectors of Indian cities, this is both a fashionable and an environment-friendly option.
It is important for us not to give up on saving the environment as a lost cause, but instead try our best to help in whatever little way we can. We might often not see the purpose in attempting to conserve the threatened environment around us because so much harm has done already, but conscientiousness is vital in limiting potential damage as well as cleaning up the environment in the little ways we can, and this is something we surely must not abandon.
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