Effects of Holiday Travel on the Environment

 

The holidays are a time to be with friends and family to celebrate the season. Being with friends and family means holiday travel which means that more carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere. While we may not be aware of it, the additional CO2 is contributing to climate change. 

When adding up the fuel that is used by driving and flying, it really adds up. But that is not the only increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the holiday season. 

Other Ways the Holidays Affect Climate Change

In addition to the holiday travel, the amount of household waste increases by 25% on average during the season. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the additional waste takes the form of wrapping paper, shopping bags, ribbons, bows, cardboard boxes, and the like. More waste means more garbage in the landfills which also contributes negatively to climate change. 

Add to that the light pollution and energy drain created by holiday lighting. The increase in the amount of water usage. Along with the purchasing of non-recyclable gifts and you have a holiday season that creates a greater strain on the environment. 

How to Combat Climate Change During the Holidays

Carpool: Carpooling is a great way to save money and reduce CO2 emissions when driving to work, so there is no reason to abandon the practice when travelling for the holiday season. Make plans to pick up relatives and friends who live along the way. Map out the drive to ensure that you are saving gas and reducing greenhouse gas emissions when doing holiday travel. 

And if possible, do not fly. Airliners burn far greater amounts of fossil fuel compared to vehicles. If you can drive, take the train, or ride the bus, that can reduce CO2 emissions considerably over the season. 

Reduce Paper & Plastic Products: It is estimated that eight thousand tons of wrapping paper combined with nearly three billion tons of holiday cards, not to mention the grocery bags and packaging from online shopping, are produced during the holiday season. To reduce the amount of paper and plastic used, there are some popular methods available. 

  • Send E-Mail Cards 
  • Use Recycled Paper
  • Recycle the Wrapping Paper Afterwards
  • Purchase Reusable Plastic Containers 

Remember the Christmas tree as well. If you use a plastic one, then maintain it so that it can be used for many years to come.  

LED Christmas Lights: By switching to LED Christmas lights, you are using a product that is 90% more efficient than its incandescent version. If the lights are outside, use solar powered strings that charge batteries so you can light up your home at night. Keep in mind that the less light, the better it is in reducing light pollution. 

You can make the holidays a fun, enjoyable time with friends and family while minimizing the effects of climate change. By making a few simple adjustments to your holiday travel plans, you can help to reduce CO2 emissions which bring more peace of mind during the season. 

Contact Brickley Environmental Today 

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental include the following. 

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal 
  • Demolition 
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

Update on Climate Action Plans in California

Across California, the Climate Action Plan or CAP is being expanded by communities such as San Diego and Oceanside to reduce carbon emissions. The goal is to lower, and eventually prevent, greenhouse gases from forming which contributes to climate change. Communities across the state are creating plans to augment California’s direction over the next two decades. 

California has set the date of 2045 as the year carbon neutrality will be reached. The goals for the plan are quite ambitious and include a wide range of carbon-reducing programs. 

California

The plan across the state is not only to address climate change using zero-emission vehicles but also to address houses as well. The goal of local governments within the state, along with developers and business owners, is to create at least 3 million homes that are friendly to the climate by the year 2030. The homes will all have more heat pumps, electric stoves, water heaters, and washing machines that use cleaner energy. 

The plan is to reach 7 million new homes by 2035. The installation of heat pumps and electric stoves will be a priority. Gas appliances will be phased out with solar panels being added to rooftops. Other improvements include the following. 

  • Improved Ventilation
  • Battery Storage Systems
  • Updating Electrical Wiring & Circuits 

This will mean updating the current building codes for older structures. At least 50% of the investments will go towards low-income communities. 

Oceanside

The first Climate Action Plan was adopted in 2019 as the first phase in addressing climate change. As technology advances, updates to the CAP are needed. In Oceanside, a community that is rapidly growing, roughly 17,000 new homes are estimated to be built over the next quarter century. 

San Diego

In 2022, San Diego created a landmark Climate Action Plan which was unanimously approved by their city council. The ambitious goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Over 4,000 residents of San Diego voiced their opinion about the plan, which includes achieving 100% power from renewable energy sources. The CAP also focuses on cleaning the air and improving the overall quality of life in the San Diego area. 

The parameters of the CAP are broad, including several different areas which affect overall quality of life: 

  • Decarbonization
  • Increase in Clean & Renewable Energy Sources
  • Use of Land & Mobility
  • Creating a Circular Economy 
  • Cleaning Up Communities 
  • Building Resilient Infrastructure & Healthier Ecosystems

As part of the plan, new climate actions are being considered. As technology changes, the goals of the local and state governments will change as well. 

For residents of California, the implementation of the Climate Action Plan will vary across the state. The overall goal is to reduce California’s carbon emissions to zero. While the goals of the CAP have yet to be set as mandatory, the overall focus will be to aid communities in changing over to new technologies and creating an environment free of human-produced greenhouse gas.

Contact Brickley Environmental Today 

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental include the following. 

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal 
  • Demolition 
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.