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Encouraging North Americans to Pollute Less, Consume Fewer Resources, and Use Less Energy since 2007.

(Better Late Than Never).
 
 

 

 

Infrastructure

Not only can you change something in your own life, it is also possible to redesign our environment to make polluting less easy/likely for others. A lot of this is not new. It is done already in many places on this planet. Most of the time to save time and money, sometimes by accident, or due to the lack of money for "modern" solutions, however all advice below could reduce pollution.

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Level of Change

Construct roads where cars wait with a slight down slope If you wait inside a car on a down slope you can turn off the engine and roll forward. Constructing roads this way allows drivers to keep the engine turned off and still move forward. This could be useful at all drive-through service points, intersections, as well as border crossing.
noticeable
Offer on-company grounds or on-campus bicycles If your employees use a bicycle every time they have to travel a distance within the company or campus that is long enough to be tempted to use a vehicle that burns fossil fuels, they do not pollute.
noticeable
Have a short driveway A short drive way pollutes less in several ways: Plowing with a machine is done faster or does not have to happen at all because you can do it by hand. A short paved driveway uses less asphalt which is a petrochemical product. Fewer trees may have to be cut to make the drive way.
not enough
Discourage the construction of drive-through service stations Every drive-through pollutes more than just a parking lot. Most of the time people need fossil fuels to move the car forward. Few turn off the vehicle when in line. All this pollutes. Going inside pollutes less.
significant
Put up "No Idling Please" signs It reminds people to not keep the engine running. Some will do it.
noticeable
Cell phones rather than land lines If there is no phone system it requires less energy and resources to install a cell phone system. You do not have to put up poles or run thousands of miles of cable to get it going.
significant
Build roads so that one can walk better Designing roads and walkways in a fashion that benefits pedestricans and bicyclists rather than fossil fuel burning vehicle traffic results in less pollution because the people can consider changing their behavior to pollute less without finding it very difficult. It may actually happen then.
significant
Build bike paths separate from roads Few of us feel safe on a bicycle on a road that we share with vehicle traffic. In many places in North America, drivers are also still not used to bicyclists being respectable humans. Building bike paths completely separate from vehicle traffic will increase bicycle usage and traffic and reduce pollution. Sometimes all it takes is a line and some markers.
noticeable
Allow small communities Small communities allow the people to consume less, transport goods for shorter distances, travel less, walk or bike more, and to share more tools or machines.
noticeable
Create public transportation systems Public transportation pollutes less than individual (fossil fuel powered) vehicle traffic. Making sure it is fast, reliable, and well used is a different story.
significant
Stop fighting wars War (the way North Americans do it) is EXTREMELY polluting. Tremendous amounts of energy and resources are used in warfare. If it works it is used and the environment (or the soldier who has to operate in those environments) is completely disregarded. In addition, the destruction that is the result of warfare requires re-construction which also pollutes. All this may be understandable from the point of view of one who wants to win a war, but it pollutes a lot.
significant
Charge money for plastic shopping bags This will be viewed as a very inconvenient change but if every store is required to do this, people will begin very quickly to bring their own bags. It is done in other countries and every one there is used to it. Much fewer plastic or paper bags are made and trashed. Things you have to pay for are either avoided or valued higher and kept longer.
noticeable
Flagmen signal to shut down engine Flag men could instruct the folks waiting in line to shut down the car's engine and turn it back on when time is right. A line of waiting vehicles with the engine off does not pollute.
noticeable
Install clean stop-and-go-traffic propulsion system A vehicle sitting in stop-and-go traffic pollutes much more because it is often not practical to turn off the engine and as a result it runs without moving forward much. A system that allows the car to move slowly while the engine is off (especially human powered) would result in less pollution.
noticeable
Install "engine-off" sign Installing an "engine-off" sign (yet to be produced) in your rear window that lights up when the engine is turned off while waiting in line will remind the drivers behind you to do the same. Some (more in the future) may do it. Less pollution results.
noticeable

 

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