The Greenest Cars on the Market

Day 231 – “Carbon dioxide levels today are higher than at any point in at least the past 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide concentrations are rising mostly because of the fossil fuels that people are burning for energy. Fossil fuels like coal and oil contain carbon that plants pulled out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis over the span of many millions of years; we are returning that carbon to the atmosphere in just a few hundred years.” – NOAA

Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance that is causing Earth’s temperature to rise.  That extra heat is driving regional and seasonal temperature extremes, reducing snow cover and sea ice, intensifying heavy rainfall, and changing habitat ranges for plants and animals—expanding some and shrinking others.  The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2005, and 7 of the 10 have occurred just since 2014. 

Car emissions is a big culprit to the increase of greenhouse gases. Let’s take a look at the best and worst cars.

GreenerCars.org’s 2021 Greenest List features the most environmentally friendly cars now available. Most of the cars listed are electric or hybrid.

  1. Hyundai Ioniq Electric
  2. Mini Cooper SE Hardtop 2 door
  3. Toyota Prius Prime
  4. BMW i3s
  5. Nissan Leaf
  6. Honda Clarity
  7. Hyundai Kona Electric
  8. Kia Soul Electric
  9. Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus
  10. Toyota Rav4 Prime AWD

The top gasoline fueled or gasoline hybrids include:

  1. Toyota Camry Hybrid LE
  2. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue
  3. Honda Insight Touring
  4. Toyota Rav4 Hybrid AWD
  5. Chevrolet Spark
  6. Kia Sorento Hybrid
  7. Kia Soul Eco dynamics
  8. Toyota Sienna
  9. Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD
  10. Mazda MX-5

The cars with the lowest environmental rating include the following:

  1. RAM 1500 TRX 4×4
  2. Lexus LX 570
  3. Mercedes-Benz AMG G 63
  4. Toyota Land Cruiser Wagon 4WD
  5. Toyota Sequoia 4WD
  6. Toyota Tundra 4WD
  7. Dodge Durango SRT
  8. Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 4×4
  9. Land Rover Range Rover LWB SVA
  10. BMW X5 M

You can see how your car ranks by checking out Green Scores of ranked vehicles, available in the GreenerCars.org interactive database, dating back to model year 2000. The database lists each configuration’s fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Tomorrow, recycling facts.

The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods

Day 159 – Oceans Day was first declared on June 8, 1992 in Rio de Janeiro at the Global Forum, a parallel event at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) which provided an opportunity for non-government organizations and civil society to express their views on environmental issues. In 2008, led by Canada, the General Assembly resolved that June 8 would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day”. The theme of the inaugural observance of World Oceans Day was ‘Our Oceans, Our Responsibility’.

This year’s theme is ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods‘. The day will shed light on the wonder of the ocean and how it is our lifesource, supporting humanity and every other organism on earth.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gives many reasons as to why we should care about the ocean.

  1. The ocean produces over half of the world’s oxygen and stores more than 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere.
  2. Covering 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean transports heat from the equator to the poles, regulating our climate and weather patterns.
  3. 76% of U.S. trade involves some form marine transportation.
  4. The ocean economy produces $282 billion in goods and services per year. Ocean dependent businesses employ almost 3 million people.
  5. The ocean provides so much more than just seafood. Ingredients from the sea are found in things like peanut butter and soy milk.
  6. Many medicinal products come from the ocean. Medicines that fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and heart disease can be traced back to the ocean.

So, what can we do to help the oceans?

NOAA gives us 10 ways we can help.

  1. Conserve Water – Use less water so excess runoff and wastewater will not flow into the ocean.
  2. Reduce Pollutants – Choose nontoxic chemicals and dispose of herbicides, pesticides, and cleaning products properly.
  3. Reduce Waste – Cut down on what you throw away.
  4. Shop Wisely – Choose sustainable seafood. Buy less plastic and bring a reusable bag.
  5. Reduce Vehicle Pollution – Use fuel efficient vehicles, carpool or ride a bike.
  6. Use Less Energy – Choose energy efficient light bulbs and don’t overset your thermostat.
  7. Fish Responsibly – Follow “catch and release” practices and keep more fish alive.
  8. Practice Safe Boating – Anchor in sandy areas far from coral and sea grasses. Adhere to “no wake” zones.
  9. Respect Habitat – Healthy habitat and survival go hand in hand. Treat with care.
  10. Volunteer – Volunteer for cleanups at the beach and in your community. You can get involved in protecting your watershed too!

Even if you don’t live near the ocean, your actions can have an impact. Make sure your impact is a positive one.

Tomorrow, saving the fireflies.

The Warming of Our Oceans Can’t be Solved with Ice Cubes

Day 82 – It happened last year. I was watching the news, which I have been told I watch too much. There was a story about one of the many hurricanes that pummeled the Gulf Coast (2020 saw a record-breaking 30 named storms and 12 landfalling storms – NOAA). The reporter was interviewing various residents to find out their reactions regarding the latest storm. One individual became very irritated at the mention of global warming being the cause of the severe storms. His response, “If the ocean temperature is warming and causing these storms, then why doesn’t the government just throw a bunch of ice cubes in it? Like really big ones.” At first, I thought he had to be kidding. Sadly, it became very clear that he truly believed that this was a valid solution.

In the past few years, the topic of global warming and climate change has been a hot topic, up for debate. I guess you could argue about the causes, but I never thought you could actually debate their existence. How can we question the data? How can we question what is right in front of our faces, in the form of devastation and destruction that follows every hurricane, tornado, wild fire or biblical flooding? Well, when you figure that there are millions of people that still believe that the Earth is flat, I guess it’s not that hard to understand that there are those that believe global warming is a hoax.

Today is World Meteorological Day. The theme this year, “Our ocean, our climate and weather.”

“Over 90% of the extra heat trapped to the Earth by humanity’s carbon emissions is stored in the ocean – only about 2.3% warms the atmosphere, while the rest melts snow and ice and warms the land.”World Meteorological Organization

It’s easy to say that global warming and climate change are problems too big to tackle. Many of you ask, “What can I do? I’m just one person.” But, we have to get past the doom and gloom and realize that we can all make a difference. The decisions we make everyday can reverse our current course. The efforts we make to be environmentally friendly, can and will help. It won’t happen overnight, maybe not even a year from now. We might not even see it in our lifetime. However, leaving a healthier planet for those that follow us, should be the only motivation we need.

So, the next time you’re wondering what you can do to make a difference, all you have to do is peruse this blog. These small and rather simple suggestions shared here on a daily basis, can make a large impact. Go a step farther and share with others ways in which you’re helping the planet. We’re all familiar with the phrase, “the more the merrier.” Well, this planet saving party could use all the help it can get.

Tomorrow, it’s OK to say no.