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Have you ever stopped to consider that everything from the goods we purchase to the way we travel has an impact on our environment? The measure of just how much one person can affect the environment is known as your individual "carbon footprint," which is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions your activities produce. The form of transportation we choose daily is a large component of our environment's overall carbon footprint.

The City of Long Beach offers a variety of alternative forms of transportation, such as the free Passport shuttle in downtown to all of the must-see attractions. For less than $1.00 the Passport can link you to local destinations such as the Queen Mary, Belmont Shore, Shoreline Village, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach. Moreover, the Metro Blue Line train system and the Long Beach Transit bus system can get you conveniently and easily to your more distant destinations.

Additionally, the City of Long Beach is taking steps toward becoming the most bike- friendly city. To this end, Long Beach has its own Bikestation for those who wish to travel by bike, rent a bike, get information to plan a trip, or have a convenient place to park their bike. Bikestation Long Beach was the first facility of its kind.

The City of Long Beach is doing its part to assist in reducing the overall "carbon footprint" by raising awareness about the impact our mode of transportation has on the environment. To date, Long Beach has taken many steps toward reducing the City's carbon footprint including offering free bus passes on Long Beach Transit for all full-time City employees. Riding the bus regularly can decrease your carbon footprint-one person drives an average size car and travel 10,000 miles per year, that person will emit 7,219 pounds of CO2 per year opposed to 4,000 pounds of CO2 if they opted to ride the bus.

In addition promoting alternate forms of transportation, the City has committed to the use of alternative fuels by increasing the use of LNG, CNG, propane, electrical and hybrid vehicles in its fleet, maintaining a LNG fleet of approximately 70 vehicles ranging from sweepers, dump trucks to asphalt patch trucks, and launching a new biodiesel program with ten vehicles, including skip loaders, tractors and dump trucks for daily beach maintenance.

Of course, the most environmentally-friendly way to get around is to bike or walk, and the City is promoting a healthy lifestyle and bicycle use by celebrating Bike to Work Day, and establishing a City Bike Share Program for City employees, and updating the City's Bicycle Master Plan as a part of the Long Beach 2030 general plan update.

Are you wondering what you can do to assist Long Beach in its ongoing efforts of environmental sustainability? To help the environment and lessen the impact of global climate change, we can all assist in the reduction of our individual carbon footprint by choosing an alternative form of transportation, such as taking the bus or train instead of driving; by joining a carpool (when taking the bus or train is not an option); by riding a bicycle; or by simply taking the old fashion form of transportation -- walking.