What is Sustainable Transportation?
Sustainable transportation has been used for quite some time now, and it is the means of transportation that is safe and has a low impact on the environment. Sustainable transportation is commonly referred to as ‘Green Transportation‘. It is important to know that sustainable transportation makes use of renewable energy rather than the use of coal, petroleum, or other fossil fuels that can cause an adverse effect on earth. However, sustainable transportation is safe due to the fact that it makes use of energy sources that are renewable. Examples of sustainable transport include walking, sailing, and cycling.
Cycling, also known as biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, exercise or sport. It is the most environment friendly way to commute. Not only cycling is good for exercise, it also helps to reduce our carbon footprint. There are various tools available in the market to get your bike ready. Bicycles are the principal means of transportation in many parts of the world. Cycling is efficient and effective mode of transportation for short to moderate distances.
A World Obsessed by the Use of Fuel
Before now, the use of fuel was most common, due to the fact that most means of transportation use fuel to power the engines. However, due to the knowledge that fossil fuels cause climate change, the world has decided to turn to renewable energy sources for transportation. Many developing countries around the world still make use of fossil fuels and the degree of pollution is still tolerated by these countries.
It has been affirmed that annually, about 20 to 25 percent of the world energy is being consumed by the various forms of transportation. This contributes to the high-levels of greenhouse gases (GHG’s) that is being released into the atmosphere, thus, causing climate change.
The World’s Resources Won’t Last Long
At the moment they are about 750 million cars worldwide and predictions say that in the next 40 to 50 years the number of cars will increase than this rate. Most of them make use of fuel.
In the 1900s there were just a few cars around globally but as the number of vehicles increased, the need for fuel also increased. However, studies show that in the 20th century, oil deposits were used up as a result of the increased number of vehicles in the world.
Nevertheless, the world has realized the bad effects of fossil fuels in the environment. Also, the world is making sure that the climate is conducive for the next generation to live in. Political turbulence in countries in the Middle East, plus the fact that oil reserves in areas like the U.S. are running low have increased the concern and shifted the attention to use alternative energy sources.
Additionally, most people around the world are becoming aware of their environment and how to save it. Whereas before, the main attention was to harness the world’s resources like crude oil. There is also a notion and that is – the world’s resources will not last forever; once they are gone, they are gone.
In some part of the world, there have been several attempts to use public transport networks rather than the use of vehicles. It is important to also note that one of the main sustainable transportations – cycling, has gained popularity, it is used to for exercise and also because it is cheap and it is fast during transportation.
There have been other attempts to introduce different transportation means that are efficient and environmentally friendly. They have also been experiments using different types of fuels and also fuel-clean vehicles for transportation.
One vehicle that has been developed as an alternative to the use of fuel the Hybrid cars. These cars are gaining popularity globally. Hybrid cars as the name implies are of a hybrid nature that has an internal combustion engine with an electric engine. Some other cars make use of natural gas and some are electrically powered. Here are different types of biofuels.
- Biofuels: Biofuels are good alternatives to fossil fuels. This type of renewable energy is popular today; it is made by fermenting plant debris and biodiesel made from animal and vegetable fats or recycled grease. Biofuels are efficient and clean and this alternative source of energy has created 2% of the global fuel in 2008. The only setback is that the production of bioethanol relies mainly on the cultivation of plant materials on farm areas.
- Solar Energy: Solar power is another source of renewable energy, but it depends on the photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into energy. However, batteries will be needed when there is no sunlight -that is at night. Solar energy is a great source of energy and it is a great option if we are to sustain our ecosystem.
- Hydrogen: Hydrogen is the most regular element in the world. This might be the future of transportation. Hydrogen power is less expensive, but at the moment they are lots of research ongoing on this project. The only challenge is how to get the hydrogen power from renewable resources. A major advance has been made from Honda- a world-renowned car manufacturing company. The car is called FCX Clarity, although this car is limited in supply globally.
Transportation is an important part of our daily life. The 20th century has to rely solely on fossil fuels which are not environmental friendly. The 21st century has taken a considerable look at the effects of fossil fuels and has made sure that renewable energy should be used instead.