Slow is beautiful

Sometimes the simplest of actions can lead to major achievements. In a world traveling at faster and faster speed, and troubled by heavy pollution problems, it might pay out just slowing down a little bit. Like the Danish shipping company Maersk has just done: Soren Stig Nielsen, director of environmental sustainability for the Danish company, told newspapers that Maersk has cut fuel consumption on major routes by as much as 30 percent, as well as reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an equal amount just by cutting the top cruising speed of its ships in half over the past two years.

Slowing down from high speeds reduces emissions because it reduces drag and friction, which holds true for travel on water, air or land. Peder Jensen, a transportation expert at the European Environment Agency, said airplanes could easily reduce emissions by slowing down 10 percent, adding only about five to six minutes of flight time between New York and Boston or Copenhagen and Brussels.

And according to the International Energy Agency driving 55 instead of 65 miles per hour cuts carbon dioxide emissions of American cars by about 20 percent.


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