So, you’re interested in pursuing a Climate Solution related to Transportation. Great choice! Read through this Deep Dive to learn more about this topic so that you’re armed with all the facts as you develop your project!

Deep Dive Table of Contents

On this page, you’ll find the following:

  • The Transportation section of our Climate Solutions Shark Tank video
  • A deeper investigation of all things Transportation
  • An explanation of how Transportation is an environmental justice issue
  • A helpful list of suggested project ideas to get you inspired
  • Delve Deeper – A list of resources and further research for your team to use as you develop your project

Climate Solutions Shark Tank – Transportation

How Transportation Impacts the Climate Crisis

One of the human actions that results in THE MOST climate changing greenhouse gases is transportation – the process of moving ourselves and our stuff around. In total, the U.S. transportation sector – which includes cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships – produces nearly 30% of all US global warming emissions (EPA Transportation and Pollution and Climate Change). Cars are responsible for about 59% of these emissions (EPA Transportation and Pollution and Climate Change).

Here’s the scary part about car emissions: a gallon of gas weighs about 6 pounds, but for every gallon of gas a car burns, about 24 pounds of carbon dioxide is produced. Yes, that’s right – driving a car produces MORE pounds of carbon dioxide gas than the gasoline in the tank actually weighs. About five pounds of this carbon dioxide is created when oil is pumped out of the ground, refined, and delivered to the gas station, the other 19 pounds of carbon dioxide comes right out of the car’s tailpipe. Trucks, ships, and trains – the vehicles which move most of our food and products – produce another 28% of our transportation emissions. And planes are the third-largest source of transportation greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S., accounting for almost 10% of all transportation emissions (EPA Transportation and Pollution and Climate Change). In 2018, airlines carried 4.3 BILLION passengers, and by 2050 passenger air travel is projected to increase. In fact, emissions from all modes of transportation are projected to increase (World Resources Institute).

Transportation and Environmental Justice

Transportation is also an environmental justice issue. Transportation systems have historically benefited affluent suburban communities while burdening poor and minority communities with unhealthy city planning choices on where to locate freeways, train and bus depots, and gas pipelines (WEACT Transit). Transitioning to zero-emission transportation is among the key strategies for limiting the earth’s temperature rise.

There are many things we can do to act on this today. We can transition to cleanly sourced electric vehicles, increase vehicle fuel efficiency, reduce time spent idling, update our city planning to support walkable and bikeable lifestyles, and modernize our road and rail systems.

Transportation Project Ideas and Inspiration

Campaign Types Key – 🔊 🏢 📅 👍

In a future Phase, you’ll learn about the different types of campaigns you can use to implement your solution. Each project below aligns with one or more of these Campaign Types so we’ve marked them out using these symbols:

  • 🔊 – Public Education & Action Campaign
  • 🏢 – Institutional Change Campaign
  • 📅 – Event Promotion Campaign
  • 👍 – Program Adoption & Participation

Solution: Reduce Idling Emissions

  • 🔊 – Educate and Inspire the public about idling emissions and to turn off their cars when stopped
  • 🏢 👍- No Idle Zone : Advocate to make your school drop off and pick up areas “No Idle Zones”

Solution: Promote Alternative Modes of Transportation

  • 🔊- Educate and inspire the public to walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation instead of driving
  • 🔊 🏢 – Advocate for a Walking School Bus at your school.
  • 🏢 Advocate for Bike, Scooter, and Skateboard infrastructure at a business, campus or frequently used municipal area
  • 🏢 👍- Advocate for your district to adopt a school bus program or for increased use of existing school bus program
  • 👍- Improve/ Adopt a Bus Stop: Beautify a bus stop to promote its use and increase passengers

Solution: Promote Electric Vehicles

  • 🔊 – Educate and Inspire the public about the benefits of purchasing and driving electric vehicles
  • 🏢- Electric Vehicles & Infrastructure: Advocate for a Greener Fleet / Charging Station / Prioritized Parking for electric vehicles in your community
  • 🏢- Lobby your state to adopt a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program or increase their ZEV target 

Solution: Reduce Shopping Miles

  • 🔊 – Educate and Inspire the public to reduce car emissions by shopping local when possible
  • 👍 – Support or Host a Farmers’ Market: Push your city or community to host a farmers’ market. If your community has a farmers’ market then promote it.

Delve Deeper

Check out the videos and links below to help you learn even more about this topic!

Buses and Biofuels

Air Pollution 101

Electric Cars & Global Warming

Sustainable Transportation TEDTalk

Fighting for Transportation Justice

Next Step: Pick Your Climate Solution Topic

Are you sold on Transportation for your project? Fantastic! Head back to Phase 1 to fill out the form titled “Phase 1.1 – Pick a Climate Solutions Topic to Focus On”

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