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24 votes
Accepted

Most environmentally friendly mode of transport

This question is addressed in a paper by Shibahara et al, 2013 (doi:10.2208/jscejipm.68.I_285). They don't discuss walking, but they do discuss bicycling, which I suppose is a more realistic method ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 1,077
18 votes

Is driving an electric car any better than driving a conventional car if electricity is generated with fossil fuel?

Yes. The hard limit on the efficiency of a heat engine is the Carnot efficiency: the amount of usable energy extracted from a heat source is limited by the temperature of the heat source and the ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 618
13 votes

Is driving an electric car any better than driving a conventional car if electricity is generated with fossil fuel?

Volvo have done an interesting study on this recently, looking at whole-lifecycle emissions for a BEV (battery electric vehicle) XC40 versus a ICE (internal combusion engine) XC40. A vehicle life-...
John M's user avatar
  • 387
7 votes
Accepted

Is flying more sustainable than taking the train?

I am not able to find any studies comparing the energy consumption. But if we look at a paper investigating emissions directly, which one could argue is an even better proxy for sustainability than ...
Uli Alskelung Von Hornbol's user avatar
7 votes

Home delivery versus going to stores: how does fuel usage for transport compare? Any studies available?

Unfortunately there are not many studies available on this subject and, as you wrote, the answer depends a lot on the country and on the city. This article on the Guardian analyses the study Impacts ...
Mil's user avatar
  • 191
7 votes
Accepted

Does 1 container ship really pollute as much as 50,000,000 cars?

It depends on how you define "pollution". Cargo ships use some of the dirtiest fuels available: bunker fuel is basically what's left over after you refine all the good stuff out of crude oil....
Mark's user avatar
  • 618
6 votes
Accepted

Does putting an automatic car in neutral when stopped help save petrol?

According to this answer over on mechanics.SE, below a certain engine RPM, your vehicle automatically disengages the torque converter. That is to say, when stopped, there isn't a fundamental ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
6 votes

Lowest impact transatlantic crossing

Unfortunately--and I realize this is not very helpful--the best choice in terms of carbon footprint is almost certainly not to go. It's a good point that freighters are likely to be much more ...
Luc Reid's user avatar
6 votes

How can I make my family understand my CO2-emissions-related hesitation to fly in order to spend time with them?

Carbon offsets aren't a perfect solution by any means, but provided the activity being funded by the offset is genuine and sensible for the long term, carbon offsets could certainly be considered to ...
Highly Irregular's user avatar
6 votes

To what extent do CO2 emissions from motor vehicles vary?

CO2 is produced by burning the carbon in the fuel, so if your driving style causes you to use twice as much fuel, you will produce twice as much CO2. Driving aggressively can have a big impact on ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 333
6 votes

Plane and train greenhouse emissions - comparison taking infrastructure in account or not?

Cars, buses, trains, and planes: comparison including infrastructure "Life-cycle Environmental Inventory of Passenger Transportation in the United States", a 2008 PhD dissertation, provides a ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
6 votes

Which countries, regions, or cities have set a date to ban the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles?

The best list is probably wikipedia: Phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles There is a good review from the World Economic Forum here, dated 2017, which discusses some of the different approaches taken, ...
M Juckes's user avatar
  • 1,021
6 votes

Efficiency of delivery services vs individuals travelling to purchase items?

The Umweltbundesamt (sort of German EPA, I figure) recently released a new study on the "Ecologisation of online shopping" - which obviously is in German. Anyway, core findings are that ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 587
5 votes
Accepted

How can I make my family understand my CO2-emissions-related hesitation to fly in order to spend time with them?

KubaFYI, in light of the update you made to your question, I am submitting a second answer for your consideration. The title of the question is "How can I make my family understand my CO2-emissions-...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,844
5 votes

Being a sustainable Digital Nomad in a Van - First Steps

Three routes: A: Your van has all your worldly possessions. B: In addition you have a place you can store stuff. C: Use a car towable R.V. A: Everything is in your van. Consider removing the ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How much CO2 does a plane produce per additional kg of weight?

A few years ago, a question popped up that spurred me to do some research and crunch some numbers (https://sustainability.stackexchange.com/a/6204/4886): I just calculated some more specific ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,844
5 votes
Accepted

Is driving an electric car any better than driving a conventional car if electricity is generated with fossil fuel?

Oh yes it is. The fossil fuel of choice in electricity generation today is natural gas. Natural gas combined cycle turbines run at 50% efficiency. Compare that to the 25% average efficiency of a car ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,089
5 votes
Accepted

Flying vs heating and cooling

Firstly, you have to notice that heating is not optional, it's mandatory. If you leave a home unheated, the water pipes will freeze. So you could perhaps reduce half of the heating bill. Where I live, ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,089
4 votes

What is required to make air travel sustainable?

Another option that could be explored (and indeed is, to a limited extent) is the increased use of airships. Being neutrally buoyant, they need much less energy per trip, and the propulsion could be ...
Nick C's user avatar
  • 783
4 votes
Accepted

How to choose a more sustainable vacation option?

The issue here is using the word "sustainable" as something like "healthy" - the more the better - when it actually refers to a balance between, say, resources used and resources generated. If I buy a ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
  • 1,955
4 votes
Accepted

If I plan to drive on soft ground, what can I do to avoid sinking in?

The usual solution to avoid sinking into soft ground is to release some air from your tyres so that they bulge more. That increases the contact area with the earth, distributes the weight of the ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,844
4 votes
Accepted

Lowest energy use per passenger-km, electric bicycle or electric unicycle?

A two-wheeled electric scooter / bicycle uses less energy. You can take a look at the specifications of two-wheeled electric scooters and electric unicycles. Look at the battery size and the claimed ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,089
4 votes
Accepted

Electricity need to switch all cars from fossil fuel

By order of magnitude your approximation is reasonable. I compared it to a 2021 analysis performed by Mark Jacobson as part of his 100% Wind, Water, and Solar (WWS) All-Sector Energy Roadmaps for ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
4 votes
Accepted

For airlines that have "vowed to offer carbon-neutral flights" how do they say they plan to actually make some flights demonstrably carbon-neutral?

One of the first airlines to initiate sustainability and carbon neutrality in it operations was Qantas. It has a Carbon Action Plan, which includes things such as: Establishing carbon offsetting ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 3,507
4 votes
Accepted

Does greener flights mean a lot less affordable flights?

The fact is: nobody knows. Electric planes could be very useful for short distances. For long-distance flights, the battery cost investment is rather high, the weight of the plane increases rapidly (...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,089
4 votes

Is there a business model to do carpentry without a vehicle?

No affiliation, but I have proof-ridden an Urban Arrow Tender at a large bicycle trade fair in Germany, and it would seem to fit a lot of stuff: Urban Arrow Tender. Source: Greenbike Shop ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 2,649
3 votes

How can I make my family understand my CO2-emissions-related hesitation to fly in order to spend time with them?

I recently returned to NZ after visiting family in the UK for Christmas. This is a round trip of some 40,000km. My solution is to pay for some 60 trees to be planted, here in NZ. This is not a perfect ...
Micko's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

How can I make my family understand my CO2-emissions-related hesitation to fly in order to spend time with them?

"1.3 tonnes of CO2" is a figure that someone came up with by averaging the fuel per passenger trip and then converting it to emissions. It's not a number you actually need to worry about. Think ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,844
3 votes

Is flying more sustainable than taking the train?

That's an interesting paper that you've linked. From a non-expert skim, three things spring to mind: Firstly, that it doesn't compare like with like. Air travel is compared with commuter rail, and ...
Flyto's user avatar
  • 3,711
3 votes

How to choose a more sustainable vacation option?

Instead of comparing the impact of each travelling modality with 1 traveller, you want to compare modalities per passenger-kilometer or passenger-mile with average load. This means that you divide the ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k

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