Consider alternative fuels
LPG (liquid petroleum gas) gives off fewer CO2 emissions than standard fuel although LPG cars they have higher fuel consumption. As conventional cars improve, there is less difference between the environmental benefits of conventional cars and those which can use LPG.
Biofuels are now highly controversial, and not the solution they were once thought to be. Biodiesel is produced from plants, or less commonly from waste cooking oil, and is a diesel substitute. All diesel cars can run on B5 (a blend of 5 per cent biodiesel and 95 per cent conventional diesel). Bioethanol, produced from fermenting plant material, is a petrol substitute. All petrol cars can run on E5 (a ready mixed blend of 5 per cent bioethanol and 95 per cent petrol). The theory is that the C02 released when a biofuel is burned in an engine is off-set by the amount of gas absorbed by the crop during growing. However, research has shown that the amount of energy needed to plant, harvest, process and transport the crops, makes the C02 balance less favorable. According to Friends of the Earth, biofuel from oil seed rape can contribute 70% more to climate change than fossil fuel due to nitrogen emissions from fertiliser. The intensive production of crops for biofuels can also result in severe environmental degradation (including loss of rainforest and peatlands, both of which are carbon sinks) and exacerbate social problems for already marginalized people in developing countries (e.g palm oil plantations). So if you do choose to use a biofuel, always find out where it has come from and how it was produced.
Friends of the Earth is urging the government to suspend targets for increasing the use of biofuels in road transport until it can guarantee that biofuels do not cause deforestation, food price rises and increased greenhouse gas emissions. It campaigns to opt for other ways of reducing emissions such as more fuel efficient cars.
Biodiesel Filling Stations: You can find out more about where to source biodiesel here, but don't forget to check how and where it was produced, from crop to fuel.
Biosulis is a local supplier of biodiesel, based in Radstock, which produces the fuel from recycled waste cooking oil. For more information see the website or call 01761 411011.
Organic Power is a local company championing the use of biogas as the best biofuel alternative.