9. Let someone else drive: Why public transport is often the greenest way to get around

Public transport is often the greenest way to get around.  Here we look at the carbon intensity of travelling in different places around the world to see what makes transit green.


1: Introducing the Shrink

2: Eat plants for a day
3: Shuffle your food
4: Start a vegetable garden
5: Build a compost heap
6: Make a seasonal meal 

7: Take a purposeless walk
8: Cycle somewhere new
9: Let someone else drive
10: Improve your fuel economy
11: Research your motor
12: Plan a flightless holiday

13: Turn off your gadgets
14: Change a light bulb
15: Seal an air leak 
16: Control your heating
17: Control your cooling
18: Research your intensity
19: Research solar power
20: Save some water

21: Declutter a room
22: Upcycle some junk
23: Choose a used product
24: Invest in good design
25: Recycle some waste

26: Pay a person
27: Buy a quality offset
28: Plant a tree that sucks
29: Plant flowers for bees 
30: Support broader change 

30 Day Shrink Guide
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  • Gabriele

    Hi, sorry for commenting on an old post but I just discovered this site.
    I have a question related to public transportation and carbon intensity: you use average carbon intensity for each mean of transportation and not marginal ones.
    I understand that using marginal figures do not account for the aggregated values, but I think that in terms of personal habits the conclusion that can be drown are quite different with the two approaches: for instance if I choose to take the train instead of using the car my marginal emissions are basically zero!
    To solve the problem I think that it would be interesting to split the carbon footprint of public transportation in two parts: the one that would be emitted in any case (for instance the emission level in quiet time slots) and the extra emission related to increased traffic (more trains at rush hours, extra weight to carry, etc.). Only this last part in my opinion should be considered for CO2e/pkm, otherwise public transportation would be penalized.
    Do you think that this could be useful? does any study tackles this issue?
    Thanks for the attention and congratulation for this site!