What does it take to travel green?

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Ford C-Max for low emission electric and hybrid vehiclesAs you know, the one thing I struggle to reconcile with my ‘green’ conscience is my car usage.

We have a 4×4 which we use to collect wood throughout the year to burn on our wood stove. This heats our home and provides hot water which means we are not burning fossil fuels to take a bath or keep warm.
But we all know the reputation 4x4s have amongst the eco friendly warriors on the planet.
Earlier on this year, the Mayor of London urged motorists to scrap their polluting cars and buy a low emissions one instead. From January 2012, The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will bring in tougher legislation against polluters and based on the age and weight of the vehicle our car is an eco sinner!
What’s a girl to do? Because to be honest, although I keep hearing it’s better to scrap an old car (which, incidentally has sailed through every MOT on the emissions front), and buy one with less emissions, I’m just not sure. Can it really be ‘greener’ when you take into account the total carbon footprint for producing a new vehicle?
According to Ford C-Max; who have teamed with MSN to promote an infographic video (above) which focuses on electric and hybrid cars; they too believe that most new cars you buy today will be greener than the ones they replace. It’s simply a case of knowing which shade of green you want to be…
We know that the world’s population is growing fast and resources are being depleted and the car is often seen as the problem. In 2006, transport in London alone produced a staggering 9.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
According to their video, it would take 200 modern cars to produce the same emissions as the Ford Fiesta from 1976. This is due to the fact that as well as a growing number of eco cars there is a lot of eco technology now available. For example low resistance tyres and engine start-stop functionality make a difference to the environment to the tune of 20% better fuel efficiency and 15% reduced greenhouse emissions.
Apparently the consumer DRIVING the car accounts for 85% of its total environment impact. If this is true then perhaps it IS better to scrap the old banger you love.
As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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