Fighting climate change starts with how you get around

Welcome to Know CO2, a campaign by Ecology Ottawa which aims to
raise awareness of the CO2 impact of our gas powered vehicles.

CO2 emitted into our atmosphere from human activities is the leading cause of global warming. Over the last 200 years the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere has increased and to a level which is now 1.4 times higher than at any time over the previous 200,000 years. If we don’t reduce our emissions very rapidly, the consequences for our planet will be catastrophic. Transportation is responsible for 24% of Canada’s CO2 emissions. We have found that most drivers are unaware that
the average car driven 20,000 kilometers per year emits about 4.5 Tonnes of CO2.

Our bumper sticker project aims to make sure that all drivers are aware of the CO2 impact of their vehicles. Every time a following driver or pedestrian sees your sticker :

  • They are reminded of large CO2 footprint of fossel-fuelled vehicles
  • You show that you care, especially to politicians and people in the auto industry
  • You demonstrate your desire for good, CO2-free transportation

What can we do about it?

There are many ways you can take action in your daily life to reduce the carbon footprint related to transportation. The list below, although nowhere near comprehensive, is a good place to start. 

Switch to alternative modes of transportation

The easiest and most affordable step is to switch to other modes of transportation, including walking, cycling and public transit, when you need to get around.

The more we design sprawling car-centric communities, the more we make transit unaffordable and walking or cycling unsafe. Consider writing your representatives and let them know you care about the future of active transportation and that you want to see more investments in walking and cycling networks and accessible and affordable public transit.

Switch to an electric car

The majority of Canadians are concerned about climate change and would be happy to purchase an CO2 free vehicle provided it was economically
competitive and met their transport needs. However, while the number evehicles in Ottawa-Gatineau is growing, it remains a tiny fraction of the total vehicle population of over 0.5 million.

The main barriers to purchase are the high initial cost of electric cars and chargers compared with their gas powered equivalents, range anxiety and concern with access to charging facilities. The auto industry and Governments are making large investments in transport electrification. New models are being launched, range is increasing, costs are coming down and the charging network is growing. Progress will come faster if drivers show they care and that they want action. Our stickers are one means of doing this. Voting for CO2 reducing government leaders is another.

If you are looking for ways to reduce your impact on our environment and help fight climate change in your daily life, consider purchasing an electric car the next time you need to buy a new vehicle.