You know, I realised something today when i was looking through the blog. I have written much about habits, attitudes and different modes of transportation, but only mentioned ridesharing/carpooling. Silly of me… so here goes;
Picture this; you live in the suburbs, and bicycle and walking is out of the question as work is to far away or there are no roads were you can walk/cycle. The bus MIGHT be an option, but it is only scheduled for once an hour. So driving is the only option, and buying a new smaller car is to expensive. So how to green the commute? There is always a big chance that a neighbour commute in the same direction, right? After all, when you live in the suburb you usually work closer to the town centre, or in some big industry complex. There are probably more then one neighbour that work at the same company, or in a close location. So why not share a ride?
First of all, being social is not a bad thing. You get to know people and who knows; you might even have more in common then you thought. The commute becomes more bearable, and you will probably save some money as you can take tours on whose car you use. AND you save CO2. If you are four persons in the car, and it emit 120 g CO2/km, you can divide that by four. 30 g/km is a lot less, right?
The downside is that you lose the freedom to just hop in and drive home whenever you want. If you work at different companies, or have slightly different work hours, it might be a problem. But I know people who do it, and it works well for them. It just take some planing.
Not all ridesharing have to be done with family members or neighbours. There are a lot of different ride-share initiatives going on all around the world. From the Swedish Skjutsgruppen to RideAlong in India to Carpoolworld… Easy to find with a simple Google search. Even Slugging may be an option, even if I find that one a bit… fishy. Be careful if you take THAT option…
OK, that was ride-sharing. What about carpools? Say that the mass transit IS an option, and you live closer to the centre of the city. Do you really need to OWN a car? Do you HAVE to use it every day? In Gothenburg and some other cities, carpools have become more common. You pay a monthly fee and can book a car for whenever you need it. After all, most car journeys are under five kilometres. If you don’t own the car and make it more inconvenient you plan more and use other modes of transport.
So you see, you can be green and still drive. Cars and their drivers aren’t evil, it is part of the culture. The last part need to change though, and this might be a good stepping stone. I might add that you should use eco-driving though. Makes the fuel consumption lower and save money and CO2.
That’s it for today. Have a nice weekend and Commute Greener!