2022-2023 Group 1 Winning Essay by Anping Huang

You are here

Reduction of Car-Reliance in the US Economy

By Anping Huang
Grade 9, Lynbrook High School, San José, CA

Global warming is taking our planet in the wrong direction. Rising temperatures, rising sea levels, and rising occurrences of devastating weather—every creature on Earth is experiencing a worse quality of life as a result of Global Warming. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere trap heat, which leads to the warming of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere (nasa.gov). Cars and other vehicles are a significant source of these emissions, and as our communities become more dependent on cars, the problem becomes more severe. Reducing our dependency on cars will not only save millions of lives, but will also change the course of global warming forever.

Most of our country’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector (epa.gov). Cars and trucks are the largest source of transportation-related emissions, contributing to 57% of the sector's emissions (epa.gov). Reducing our dependency on cars will drastically decrease the transportation sector's emissions, lowering the Nation's emissions overall. This raises the question: How can we lessen our reliance on things like vehicles, which we use so frequently?

One of the most effective ways to do this is to invest in public transportation and make it more accessible and convenient for everyone. This can include building more bike lanes, sidewalks, and investing in bus and train infrastructure. Public transportation not only reduces the number of cars on the road— it also provides an alternative mode of transportation, allowing people to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on transportation costs.

Another way to reduce our dependence on cars is to promote carpooling and ride-sharing, which puts more people in each car. This would benefit us in many ways, such as reducing the number of cars on the road while cutting down on pollution altogether. Incentives such as tax breaks for people who carpool or use ride-sharing services can encourage more people to participate in these activities. Furthermore, technology such as ride-sharing apps can make it easier for people to connect with others who are interested in sharing rides (Rideamigos.com).

It's also crucial to promote environmentally friendly modes of transportation, like biking and walking. Building more bike racks and making streets safer for walking and biking can make these forms of transportation more attractive. Additionally, promoting and supporting the development of walkable and bikeable communities can also encourage more people to use these forms of transportation. If more countries switched their reliance on bikes instead of cars, their carbon footprint in the transportation sector can be drastically reduced.

And by incentivizing both developers and people to establish these communities, our nation can make it happen far more swiftly and easily.

It is undoubtedly clear that reducing our dependence on cars is vital in the fight against global warming. By investing in public transportation, promoting carpooling and ride-sharing, encouraging sustainable forms of transportation, and supporting walkable and bikeable development, we can make our communities more sustainable and decrease transportation-related emissions. It is a collective effort that requires participation from individuals, communities, and governments. The reduction of dependency on cars will turn the tide between humans and nature: Every small step will take us closer to a cleaner world.



Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Fast Facts on Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions. EPA. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/fast-facts-transportation-greenhouse-gas-emissions

Mckimmy, M. (2019, April 15). How to encourage employees to carpool. RideAmigos. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://rideamigos.com/how-to-encourage-employees-to-carpool

NASA. (2022, September 26). Weather, Global Warming and climate change. NASA. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://climate.nasa.gov/global-warming-vs-climate-change/#:~:text=Global%20warming% 20is%20the%20long,gas%20levels%20in%20Earth's%20atmosphere



Contact Us

SJSU Research Foundation   210 N. 4th Street, 4th Floor, San Jose, CA 95112    Phone: 408-924-7560   Email: mineta-institute@sjsu.edu