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TIP OF THE WEEK: Electric cars could really help curb climate change

We could keep 10 gigatons of carbon emissions out of the air by switching from gas to electric vehicles for 16% of our travels: Project Drawdown

EDITOR'S NOTEOrilliaMatters is partnering with Sustainable Orillia to publish a weekly tip. Check back here every Tuesday evening for a new tip. For more information, visit the Sustainable Orillia website.

To reduce our impact on the climate and avert disaster, it’s going to take more than switching to high-efficiency light bulbs. But the most effective ways that individuals, policymakers and businesses can reduce our carbon footprint might surprise you.

Let’s see how much you know about the climate consequences of moving people and goods around our country and across the world.

The group Project Drawdown has ranked the most effective climate change solutions.

Rank the four solutions below according to which ones you think would have the biggest effect on curbing climate change.

  • Fly less ... and on fuel-saving planes
  • Drive an electric car
  • Invest in high-speed trains
  • Ship goods more efficiently

Try not to peek...

Here’s how Project Drawdown ranks the choices, from highest effect (1) to lowest (4):

  • Drive an electric car
  • Ship goods more efficiently
  • Fly less ... and on fuel-saving planes
  • Invest in high-speed trains

The planes and ships that crisscross the globe use a lot of energy, and adopting more efficient shipping practices and flying fuel-saving planes would keep a lot of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

But if more people started driving electric vehicles, it would cut carbon emissions even more. According to Project Drawdown’s analysis, if just 16% of the miles we drive were traveled in an electric-powered vehicle instead of a gas-powered one, it could keep 10 gigatons of carbon emissions out of the air.

What can we do, within our own households and community, to take more internal combustion engine (ICE) cars off the road, to source our goods from closer to home, or to travel fewer kilometres?

We’ll feature more quizzes in other categories in future “tips” from Sustainable Orillia.

(with thanks to Project Drawdown and Drew Kann, Will Houp, Judson Jones, and Sean O'Key)