Last week we blogged on Tip #7: Use Efficient Light Bulbs. As part of our ongoing 15-week blog series promoting the United States Post Office “Go Green” Stamp Collection, this week we are blogging Tip #8: Share Rides.
In previous blogs, we’ve discussed various methods for reducing our carbon footprint when travelling or commuting, including biking and using public transportation. Ride sharing, or carpooling, is another great way to reduce the impact on the environment and your wallet.
What is carpooling?
According to Rideshare.511.org, “Carpooling is a fast, convenient and less-expensive way to get to work. And, carpooling keeps the air cleaner. Carpool as many days as you want, one way or round-trip. All you need is one or two other people. Carpool with neighbors, coworkers, family, friends from the gym.”
HowStuffWorks.com offers a more detailed definition, “Carpooling, which falls under the ridesharing umbrella and is closely related to van pooling, is simply when a group of people decide to ride together. They usually share the cost of the trip and take turns driving. Often, carpools are formed by commuters who want to avoid driving during rush hour. In a small way, these commuters help to alleviate that traffic. Carpools are also formed by parents who want to divide the task of driving children to and from school and extracurricular activities.”
The Benefits of Carpooling
Carpooling provides many great benefits. HowStuffWorks.com observes a few:
- Cut down on gas prices by “sharing the energy burden” between several passengers.
- Extend the life of your vehicle by reducing the daily wear and tear on your car.
- Several organizations, such as the Clean Air Campaign, “offer reward programs to local carpoolers. You can log your carpool commute with these organizations and get cash in your wallet. Some insurance companies offer discounts to people who rideshare, and sometimes carpoolers receive access to special parking spots.”
- Reduces traffic congestion.
Starting Your Own Carpool
Starting your own carpool may seem like a hassle, but with the power of the web at your fingertips, forming a carpool can actually be fairly simple. The following websites offer great information and resources for starting your own carpool, including a community of fellow ride-seekers in your local area:
- www.carpooling.com (For European Drivers)
This list is by no means comprehensive, but should provide a good starting point in your carpool search.
We hope you’ve found these carpooling tips to be helpful and informative. Ride sharing is an excellent way to conserve natural and financial resources, while reducing our daily carbon footprint.
Next week we will be blogging on Tip #9: Compost. Stay tuned.
Conceived, Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Austin McKinney on January 5, 2012
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