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22 SEPTEMBER -- WORLD CARFREE DAY

October 12, 2010

Do you know that September 22th is commemorated as the World Carfree Day? In this day, people from around the world hold various activities to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society. This day is a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars.
As the climate heats up, World Carfree Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of to the automobile. Several facts regarding the use of
cars/motor vehicles:

o The typical American male devotes more than 1,600 hours a year to his car. He sits in it while it goes and while it stands idling. He
parks it and searches for it. He earns the money to put down on it and to meet the monthly installments. He works to pay for petrol, tolls, insurance, taxes and tickets. He spends four of his sixteen waking hours on the road or gathering resources for it. And this figure does not take account of the time consumed by other
activities dictated by transport: time spent because of traffic accidents and garages
o Motor vehicles are the single biggest source of atmospheric pollution,contributing an estimated 14% of the world's carbon dioxide
emissions from fossil fuel burning, refining and distribution of fuel, and this figure if 15 to 20 percent of world emissions.
o The average American car releases 300 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from a full, 15 gallon tank of gasoline.
o The average European car produces over 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
o Methane (another global warming gas, 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide) is also emitted by cars.
o In all, transport is estimated to account for 20-25% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Carfree Day has great benefits for the environment and society. The environment becomes greener and cleaner, people can enjoy less
crowded traffic. It also reduce demand on fossil fuels. More efforts should be done to make Carfree Day not just one day of celebration and then a return to "normal" life, it can really make more people aware of the benefits if we can reduce our dependency on motor vehicles.



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