A photo of two brown and white shuttle buses in front of large redwood trees.

Transportation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide, contributing to climate change that affects national parks. The National Park Service (NPS) and Clean Cities are partnering to encourage visitors and staff to “green their ride” in parks and at home to reduce fuel use and GHG emissions.

While America’s national parks are nearly synonymous with “road trip,” most parks offer visitors a variety of ways to get around besides personal cars. Because transportation within the park, including visitor vehicles, accounts for 85% of the average park’s greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the number of vehicles on the road can make a big difference.

With the help of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, the NPS is working on sustainable travel options, including using more efficient vehicles themselves and encouraging visitors to “green their rides” in the parks to minimize their contribution to climate change and air pollution. To help visitors learn more, NPS and Clean Cities have put together a Green Our Rides video.

Once visitors reach the parks, there are a variety of transportation options that provide unique travel experiences. Non-motorized choices such as biking and walking minimize pollution, reduce traffic congestion, and maximize visitors’ exposure to the parks’ natural beauty and historical sites. Just one small travel change can make a big difference. If every visitor and employee biked instead of drove five miles, it would save 1.47 billion pounds of carbon dioxide. Check out the Green Our Rides infographic for information.

The Green Our Rides program is part of the larger Clean Cities National Parks Initiative. Clean Cities collaborates with 27 national parks across the country to carry out sustainable transportation projects to cut petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information about how NPS and Clean Cities are partnering to educate visitors on making smart transportation choices, see the full blog post.

  • Shannon Brescher Shea, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
  • technicalresponse@icfi.com
  • 800-254-6735