Many Canadians say they would forgo sex, credit cards or junk food before giving up their cars. (iStock)
Canadians are so attached to their vehicles that many say they would forgo sex, television, junk food or credit cards before giving up driving.
The survey conducted by the World Wildlife Fund underscores the challenge of promoting alternative forms of transportation as a means of helping the environment.
The WWF said 78 per cent of Canadians know driving has a negative impact on the environment, yet only one per cent would be willing to give up their cars.
“If every Canadian left their car at home just one day a week, we would save about 4.86 million tones of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking about 800,000 cars off the road for a year,” said Gerald Butts, the president and CEO of WWF Canada.
The World Wildlife Fund is launching a campaign to encourage Canadians to try other forms of transportation, such as public transit, bicycling or walking.
“No matter where we live in Canada, we can all find ways to reduce our dependency on cars — to save money, improve our health and help the planet,” Butts said.
In Canada, transportation accounts for 30 per cent of greenhouse gasses.
According to the Canadian Automobile Association, driving is also hard on the pocketbook, with a mid-sized sedan costing an average of $8,440 in fuel, maintenance and other operating costs. Driving a minivan costs more than $11,200.
The WWF survey found that 76 per cent of Canadians say they would drive even if they could walk, bike or take public transit to their destination.
Canadians are being asked to try alternatives to driving during the week of May 31 to June 6.
The survey was conducted by Research House on behalf of the WWF between April 16 and 21, with 2002 adults surveyed. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.19 per cent 19 times out of 20.