Home
Prius Blog
About Me
Hybrid Types
Prius Models
Articles
Saving the Planet
Prius Humour
MyApple
Consumption Data
Hybrid Synergy Drive
Hybrid Components
Demos
MySinclair
My Projects

 

The Prius comes with one extra feature:

"Feel-good factor"

This is because when you drive your Prius you know that you're helping to reduce our appetite for fossil fuels. You're also helping to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. CO2 or Carbon Dioxide is the gas primarily responsible for producing the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is increasing the temperature of the planet right now. If we don't reduce our CO2 emissions, we will not be able to stop climate change. Climate change will affect everybody.

Calculate your CO2 emissions right now.

I used to drive a 1999 BMW 318i [E46]. I also drove approximately 30 000 km per year. This means that my car spewed out about 4 836 kilograms of CO2 per year! A Prius driven the same distance would only have produced about 2 395 kilograms of CO2 per year!! That's 50% less.

It is possible to offset your CO2 elsewhere however. Allow me to explain.

Let's say I produce 5000 kg of CO2 per year with my car. At the same time I also build a wind turbine that produces electricity. If that wind turbine can produce the same amount of electricity cleanly, that would normally have resulted in the emission of 5000 kg of CO2 per year, the net effect on atmospheric CO2 levels is ZERO.

This is the idea behind Terrapass. From as little as $29.95 per year (R225.00) you're essentially turning your car into a ZERO emission vehicle. Terrapass will ensure that your CO2 emissions are offset elsewhere by investing in renewable energy sources. They are third party audited and verified. You really are making a difference.

It doesn't matter where your South African CO2 emissions are offset. It's the balance that's important. The earth only has one atmosphere and we better take care of it.

Alternatives

You don't have to drive a hybrid to reduce your CO2 footprint. Just follow three simple rules

Reduce

Reduce your electricity consumption. Much of South Africas' electricity is still generated using fossil fuels. The less electricity we use the less coal we have to burn and the less CO2 is emitted. Install energy saving CFLs instead of incandescent bulbs. Cook using the microwave oven instead of the stove. Take showers instead of baths. Switch off appliances you don't need or use. Be aware of the energy consumption of appliances when you shop for a TV, fridge etc.

Be aware of how much packaging is used in products you buy. Don't support manufacturers who package a 100g item in 900g of plastic. Take your own shopping bags to the grocery store.

Re-use

Don't throw something away if it can be used in another way. Also, use what you own for longer. Instead of upgrading you cellphone every year, use it for an extra year. Making plastics and electronics uses energy and emits CO2 . You don't need to have the latest and greatest of everything. You'll also save money.

Make compost out of organic kitchen waste like peels etc. Your plants will love you for it. Don't throw away empty glass jars. Wash them and use them to store small items like screws. You can also ad them to your recycling.

Recycle

If your local council doesn't have a recycling program, make a noise about it. Glass, plastic, aluminium cans...all these things are very easy to recycle, yet they are just dumped in landfills. Do not throw away old engine oil. Have it recycled.

Get involved in recycling programs. Your childs' school can collect paper and cooldrink tins. These can be sold for recycling to generate extra funds.