Car pooling – good for your pocket and the environment

, ,

Car pooling, also known as ride-sharing, can save you big bucks on gas, wear and tear on your vehicle, oil resources and reduce all the associated nasty environmental impact associated with driving.

When you drive to work, are you alone or do you have room for other passengers? Have you ever noticed how many others around you are driving on their own too?

In the USA, single occupant commuting is around 75% according to census data.carpooling

There are millions of us who engage in solitary travel to and from work; driving billions of miles each year, spending a stack of cash on gas and pumping tons of emissions into the atmosphere.

According to the SightLine Insitute (single passenger statistics):

– A small car emits around .59 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile
– A medium car emits around 1.1 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile
– An SUV/4 wheel emits around 1.57 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile

Car pooling advantages

Save money

Just putting aside the gloom and doom aspect of the environmental impact of fossil fuels; consider even the cost saving aspect. It’s not uncommon to save a couple hundred dollars a month in transport costs by sharing a ride with someone else. In some cities, you can also save on tolls and parking if your vehicle has multiple occupants.

It’s not just the cost of gas, tolls and parking, but city driving is notorious for causing wear on vehicles – all the stopping and starting wears out engines, brakes and gearboxes, not to mention tire wear. According to the American Automobile Association, it costs an average of 26.2 cents per mile to drive a car; and that’s just gas and wear and tear combined.

De-Congests roads

According to a recent US study, “Commuting in America”:

– U.S. drivers wasted 4.2 billion hours sitting in traffic in 2005
– Traffic delays chewed through 2.9 billion gallons of fuel
– In Los Angeles, the average driver wastes 72 hours per year going nowhere.

If everyone car pooled, imagine the many hundreds of thousands of vehicles that would be off the road each day. This would lessen traffic congestion, making trips faster, cutting fuel and car maintenance costs even further. Some places even have roads with designated lanes for multiple occupant vehicles and we expect to see more of this in the years ahead.

Social/emotional

Through sharing a ride, you’ll meet other people. Our online world is steadily disconnecting people and that can be unhealthy for many folks. For some people, there’s nothing like a pep session before the daily grind and a counselling session immediately afterwards.

Also, if you find driving to work stressful, car pooling can alleviate the frustration in travelling to and from the workplace. You may even find time to carry out other tasks during the drive instead, such as preparing for meetings etc.

Flexibility through technology

In the early days of car pooling, it was fairly restrictive and it could be difficult to find people you get along with to team up to share a ride. Now many online services and apps have sprung up that provide a good choice of people to ride share with and therefore greater flexibility with your own timetable. Better online resources will offer the following matching:

Geographic –  matching departure and destination routes

Chronological – matching times of departure and arrival

Personal Preferences. – Points such as whether you wish to be a driver and/or passenger, gender preferences, smoker/non-smoker – some even provide matching for music choices.

Here’s some online car pooling resources to check out

eRideShare.com
CarPoolConnect
icarpool.com

Another great idea is to look for potential car poolers where you work. Sending out an email or working with HR to see who might be interested. Connecting coworkers that live near each other can help start a carpool or a series of carpools. Often times having someone organize and get the conversation started is all that is needed to bring upon change.

Online Energy Tracking Tool For All Organizations

, , ,

We found an amazing and inexpensive tool for tracking and sharing all of your energy and waste information for your organization call Foresight http://www.foresightsustainability.com/ . The cost of this online tool is $250 a year which is a fraction of the cost of most other similar software systems. Below are all the metrics you track for your organization and you can track as many or as little as you wish. When tracking this information it helps create cost reductions, and a great sustainable story for your organization no matter if you’re a business, church , school, or a non-profit (for an example see this story of why you should track trash/solid waste here http://www.greenmichigan.org/recycle-repurpose/why-you-should-track-your-solid-waste/). Check out their website or contact Brian Pageau bpageau@midwestenergygroup.com

This is a Michigan based company.

 

metrics

Energy Savings Tips

,

 

  1. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights or LED’s
  2. Reduce phantom power by using power strips and turning them off when not in use, this can save hundreds of kWh of energy a year. Examples of phantom power:
    • TV/VCR uses 5 W
    • Microwave uses 1-2 W
    • Laptop power supply uses 7 W
  3. Purchase green energy through your utility – Consumer’s Energy offers this, BPW’s do not
  4. Purchase energy efficient appliances, see www.energystar.gov
  5. Change your furnace filter monthly
  6. Insulate your hot water pipes
  7. Change to a programmable thermostat
  8. Use hand powered tools like lawn mowers, mixers
  9. Insulate your attic
  10. Seal windows and doors
  11. Shade your air conditioner and keep it tuned up
  12. Open windows when showering on hot days to vent out hot air and humidity
  13. Keep curtains closed on hot or cold days to better regulate the indoor temperature

 

Energy Conservation/Efficiency PDF Links from BPW – Holland



Click on a title below to see a printable PDF of each flyer:

 Light Emitting Diode (LED) Technology
Compact Flourescent Lights (CFLs)
Smart Power Strips

For more information please email knovakoski@hollandbpw.com.