Posts Tagged ‘CO2’

Santa Claus Commute Greener!

I am happy and proud that so many of you have changed your commuting behavior this year by using Commute Greener. You have contributed to thousands of tons of CO2 savings, and you have got better health and saved both time and money, congrats to all of you! And we are definitely on track, and an established mobility management solution, when it comes to helping people, organisations, cities and companies to a successful modal shift with very good results! Join the movement, collect points, have fun and you will get the best Christmas gift!

Looking forward to run more succesfull campaigns and challenges during 2014. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and you will get the latest news. Wish you all a great Christmas and a Happy New Year with a lot of greener commuting and fun in the app!
And finally here comes Santa Claus, an exemplary green commuter! :-)

Take care,

/Karin

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What challenges do you like?

I was looking at some pictures from this summer. This is F rebuilding her bike, and she was convinced that her invention could fly. -”It’s just about getting the propeller spinning” she said. And got angry when I didn’t have any quick solutions on this, talking about challenge….
Flying bike under construction

Do you know that we have more we have more reachable challenges in the Commute Greener app? During this year we have been launching many different sponsor challenges with all in common to reward commuters who change to a more sustainable transport to work. Thousands of tons of CO2 emissions have been saved during the year and many fine prizes have been awarded to lucky and well deserved winners.

Interesting in sponsoring a challenge? Why not a Christmas challenge? The challenge could be local, regional, national or global, you decide who you will reach. Or why not a dedicated badge as the perfect Christmas gift!  Contact me at Support.CommuteGreener@volvo.com or at facebook and I provide you with all you need to know to set up a successful challenge, or dedicated badges, for your customers, employees or citizens. You can also find more information at: www.CommuteGreener.com

Another funny picture from this summer, F with a friend,very proud in their self made Commute Greener rain suit!

Commute Greener!

/Karin

commute greener rain suit

 

 

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Celebrate good times – come on!

Nice and sunny winter day today, only this is worth celebrating!

I met a customer last week saying: “Now the Commute Greener app is really good!” and he pointed out three things: the social integration with facebook, pushed co-commuting options and the overall gamification of the app, including dedicated challenges and a reward system. This was music to my ears since we believed in these new features and have been working hard to implement them during the year! And now we can also see all great results coming from using the app and with enormous opportunities to save tons and tons of CO2 emissions globally in the future!

Sunny winter day

Looking in the back mirror, this year has been really good with successful campaigns and with impressive achievements from many commuters. People have changed their commuting to more sustainable transportation and decreased their CO2 emissions up to 30%! I am so proud of this and it also shows that using the Commute Greener app motivates people to change their commuting behavior! And not to mentioned all other social media integration that shows that we that we have raised awareness and inspired many, many thousands of people to a more environmentally friendly way of commuting.

Listen to Kool and the Gang’s “Celbrate good times” from the eighties, they know how to celebrate! We will continue this success next year with many new and attractive sponsored challenges and badges, and we will run campaigns during the European Mobility Week and in New York – and much more!

More information: www.CommuteGreener.com, Facebook or contact me directly at Support.CommuteGreener@volvo.com for various of offers and campaign set ups. Looking forward to hear from you!

Get the app, collect points and we reward you, Commute Greener!

/Karin

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European Mobility Week Campaign – a success story!

The campaign we have been running together with the European Mobility Week Sweden, has now ended. During the campaign you could get the EMW Sweden badge as well as joining a local challenge for people living and working in Stenungsund, Tjörn and Orust. This was a pilot and a test for the coming EMW 2014. And we are happy to experienced great achievements and changed behavior, to more sustainable transportation modes as bus and train and CO2 savings with up to 30 procent!
Here are some snapshots from the campaign.

Ingela got so motivated that she first bought a bike and then biking 16 km to work several times a week! Impressing, well done!





















Katarina, one of the lucky winners of Västtrafik’s travel card Region Around, in the local EMW challenge. Congratulations to your great efforts!



















Me and Peggy Magnusson, local Climate and Energy Adviser in Stenungsund, responsible for the local EMW challenge, in the Metro Gothenburg newspaper (in Swedish).



















Looking forward to a big bang in the European Mobility Week 2014, a mega competition where cities and organizations all over Europe competing in CO2 savings! Who will be the winner??

Like our facebook page and stay updated about challenges, badges and other great stuff. And don’t hesitate to come back to me at Support.CommuteGreener@volvo.com if you have any questions.

Join in, have fun, make a difference in the Commute Greener app :-)

Have a great week and Commute Greener!
/Karin

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End of bike month but a happy start in life!

Today is the last of May and the end of the Bike Month. I have actually tried to push myself this month to take the bike to work, at least once a week. And experienced, again, that it’s hard in the beginning….so now I am pushing little F to never stop biking and to be the commuter for the future!

Hopefully you are now up to speed and ready to take the bike to work next week. I can tell you it’s worth it! Yesterday when I showed my collected points and saved CO2 in the app, at Slimfood, a lunch restaurant nearby, I got 10 percent discounts. Wow great reward!

Why not get the app and join a sponsor challenge, start collecting points and you can get 100 SEK to spend at mat.se, concert tickets from Gothenburg Symphony, great commuting gears from the Volvo Group and more fun!

And do you know what, I bought the first local strawberries today, taste like heaven!

 

Enjoy life and Commute Greener!

/Karin

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Join the Commute Greener movement and be awarded!

Yesterday Volvo Group announced that Gretchen Daily, professor at Stanford University in California, is awarded Volvo Environment Prize 2012. And of course we we congratulate Gretchen to her progressive efforts on putting a price on Mother nature! She is convinced that the only way to create long-term welfare is to quantify the value of ecosystems.

“….the problem is that so much of the ecosystems and the services we get from them are, in principle, valued at zero. We need to work pragmatically to fix this. If we can demonstrate economically the enormous benefits of pollination by insects or natural protections against climate change and floods, then investments in nature will become part of everyday life. We’re talking about 21st-century environmental protection.”

Do you know that you now can be awarded and get real-life benefits when you Commute Greener? We are convinced that all your steps towards sustainable future should be awarded. Enjoy the benefits, you are worth it! I am happy if you share your experience, comments or just feedback at Facebook. Is it a good idea to be awarded if you Commute Greener??

It will be even more easier and more enjoyable to Commute Greener since the new Commute Greener Facebook app soon will be launched…. Like us, stay updated and  join the new Commute Greener movement!

Happy Tuesday and Commute Greener!

/Karin

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Even more evidence that Global warming exists

Hi everyone!

You know, sometimes it is easy to understand why some people don’t believe in the scientists when they are saying that earth is warming and the climate is changing. It is such a huge problem that it is almost impossible to get ones head around.

Global Warming. Source: Wikipedia Commons

Couple that with a healthy dose of misunderstanding of the lingo of the academic world and methods, mistakes made in the IPCC report and all rather aggressive discussion amongst the scientists themselves, where some are very public with their notion that everybody but

themselves are wrong and it is a wonder that anybody actually see the problem at all.

One of those skeptic scientists recently published an article in the wall street journal about how he put his own group together to come to terms with the problem as he mistrusted the methods of data gathering and processing made by many other scientists. Professor Richard Muller and his team spent some time gathering new data and developing new methods to analyze the data, and came to an conclusion.

Global warming is indeed real. Or to quote his article;

When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that. -Richard A Muller, Wall street journal

Studies like these are the heart of science. It is all about testing and retesting a hypothesis, trying to prove it wrong. Which is partly a reason to why so many distrusts scientists as they can’t say that anything is “true”. Hopefully this is one step on the long road towards a global acceptance of the problem, and possibly even a starting point on the road to mitigating the problem. More and more evidence is turning up that points towards an anthropogenic global warming. It is time to start doing something against it.

There are many reasons to remain skeptic and not to swallow everything on the net or in media. But the “great arguments among the climate scientists” is no reason just lay back and do nothing. Even the skeptic scientists are coming up with “positive” results nowadays. In other words, get of that couch and start doing something about the problem. There are thousands of ways to reduce your energy and resource use. Insulation, low energy or LED lamps, buying local food, reducing meat and soda consumption etc etc. are great ways to start.

Driving less is also a very good way to reduce your CO2 footprint as well as reducing several other environmental problems. One bus can swallow vast amounts of cars. A train can swallow ten times that number. Biking or walking is even more environmentally friendly, but not an option for everyone. The point is that there are so many ways you can help reduce global warming. It is just a matter of getting started and finding the right tools to do it. By the way, have you heard of Commute Greener! :-)

I’m out of here

Fredrik

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Should our children pay for our environmental sins?

Whether you believe in climate change or not you probably want a good future for your children. We humans are programmed to look after our offspring but anything that is not a concrete threat is easy to overlook. Such as climate change/global warming. This is a very abstract threat after all, and not even the scientists understands it at its fullest. That doesn’t mean the threat isn’t there though.

In environmental law there is a very interesting principle that deals with responsibility for damaging the environment; the Polluter Pays Principle, or PPP. As you may guess from the name the principle basically states that if you mess the environment up you are going to pay for correcting that. At least in a simplified form, there are most often other legal stuff involved dealing with how much is reasonable to pay for this correction etc etc. Large corporations which operate within countries with this principle are usually quite careful not to mess things up too much as they will get a hefty bill on probing and then sanitizing the polluted area if discovered. This is also one of the reasons businesses are working towards bettering themselves in the environmental area; paying less for damages is better then having to get both a fine and bad PR.

However when it comes to individuals this rule doesn’t seem to apply. Sure, if you pollute your own land the government may step in depending on which country it is and what the law says. I have been out on a couple of errands like that during my education, and it isn’t pretty.  Things like CO2 emissions and the like are totally absent here however. Yet how we live have great impact on our climate. And here comes an ethical dilemma; can we really carry on like we do and just let our children take the hit 50 years from now?

Most people would answer no to that. I am one of them, but you have probably guessed that already. However what usually follows that answer is the standard bombardment of excuses;

  • I am just one person so I can’t make a difference
  • Industry pollutes so much so it doesn’t matter if I change habits
  • Why should I change my habits and way of life when everybody else doesn’t
  • I can’t change how I live
  • We can’t be sure that climate change really is man made

Etc Etc. Fact of the matter is that a single person can contribute a lot in fighting climate change. Just look at how Al Gore and his famous upped the awareness of the masses. Or how the “one tonne life” works to reduce their CO2 footprint. Or how much you saved when riding the bike instead of driving to work today.

How we live affects the world a lot. Sure, industry has to do their part, especially power plants and heavy industry, but the individual person have a responsibility as well. By changing your commute habits you have taken a big step towards reducing your CO2 footprint as well as serving as an example to others, showing that it IS possible. Even if you live in suburbia and works on the other side of town with no buses you can still change your habits by planing your errands, ride-sharing and driving with the eco-driving techniques.

The last point on the excuse list is actually both the easiest and most difficult thing to explain to someone reluctant to change their lifestyle. That lovely miscommunication between the scientific world and the one where we regular mortals live is ridiculous as well as totally expected. I am of course talking about the global warming THEORY. In science you don’t say that something is 100% sure, you use statistics and there is always room for error or changed views as new facts enter the stage. Is the fact that they can only say that the possibility that anthropogenic global warming exists is just 99% enough reason to just ignore the entire issue?

No it isn’t. So get started changing habits and making your life greener, one thing at the time. My tip is to start with the commute as that is often a very ingrained habit. If you can change your commute pattern then you can change almost anything!

Get a CO2 pedometer, ie Commute Greener! (it is free and works for web or iPhone), see how much you emit in one week and start trying to reduce that number. Get some friends and coworkers to compete with you, and make it fun. Maybe the entire office and int he end company could enter this contest (another area Volvo IT and commute greener could lend a helping hand with setting up groups etc). You will be surprised how much CO2 you will save and how fun you will have in the process. All the while you are taking the first (?) step towards taking responsibility for your personal Carbon Dioxide footprint. Helping saving the world doesn’t have to be boring or difficult after all.

Have a nice weekend and Commute Greener!

Fredrik

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Long distance commute = train commute!

Let’s keep the train theme from yesterday. After all, this kind of transportation deserves some attention as well, and there have been a lot of bike related stuff on the site lately.

Lots of Swedes work in a city different from the one they live in. Because of that we have a fairly well developed public transportation system, as not everyone own a car. Chaining the commute, using trains for fast and effective transportation is both more comfortable and better for the environment then driving. It is no wonder that the government want more people to use that system instead of driving.

Wouldn't riding one of these be nice for the commute? Foto: Wikipedia Common

Another country with a well developed train commute system is Great Britain. Like Sweden the distances are long and people are mobile. Trains open up a larger area to look for work in, something which get more and more important today. Some British friends of mine have become true masters of green commuting, doing everything from eating breakfast to bank errands while on the rail. And believe me, while that kind of lifestyle can be stressful it may also let you relax as all the boring stuff is done when you get home.

The Japanese has to get some credit for their very well developed train network as well. They commute long distances in a relatively short time, without much of a problem. The trains are even on time, some.thing which is not always guarantied.

So there are great possibilities for a train commute all over the world. And the savings in CO2 are great as well. With a CO2 emission rate of some 35 g/km, and commutes that lasts for at least 30 minutes with this rather fast mode of transportation, you save a LOT of greenhouse gases by taking the train. You also drop a lot of other emissions like particles, NOx and so on that would have been emitted if driving. A car with an emission rate of some 120 g/km (ie. “low emission”) would emit some 12 kilograms of CO2 on an 100 km commute (a quite common distance for long range commuting) while a train only would emit some 3,5 kg on the same distance. That is a lot of CO2 to be saved there, especially when considering that a train easily can swallow hundreds of passengers. THAT is a LOT of CO2…

If you have a long commute, and have the opportunity to use a commuter train, try it out. It is not so bad and you can get a lot of stuff done while on the go. With some proper planning and preparations you can have a comfortable commute with a lot of time for yourself, or with time for Internet errands which leaves time for more fun stuff in the evening. Sounds good? It sure is!

Commute Greener!

Fredrik

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A train adventure – or what may happen if you fail to plan a long journey

Today I had an appointment in a city in the middle of Sweden. Since driving that far isn’t viable environmentally and isn’t as comfortable as taking the train, I of course opted for rail bound transportation. And oooooh were I in for a treat.

Trains are really good for long way transportation. It is simple, comfortable and you get access to both the internet and free electricity, allowing you to work or facebook or whatever. For long trips that is something really positive. However, the problem with trains is that when they run late, they run REALLY late. After nearly three and a half hours of broken motors, busted gear boxes and overheating systems I arrived in this lovely town I never have been to before with a healthy ten minutes to spare before the appointment. And thanks to google earth I actually knew how to get there ASAP as well as how the buildings and streets look in real life, and managed to be on time. But you know, this thought me something very valuable;

Trains ARE a very good form of transportation, but it is always good to take technical troubles into consideration. Bringing a book (the train didn’t have Internet connection) would have been a good afterthought as well, as would making sure the cellphone was loaded with cash so I could call the people I was going to meet. Buuuuut no. Not this time. Stress like that really isn’t necessary at all, and should be avoided.

Planning ones journeys are a key for making them as smooth as possible. This time I got sloppy and ended up not following any advice I usually give you guys, but for one; I HAD planned for delays. Despite this particular journey I think train beats driving in every way when it comes to longer trips. If you just prepare for the ride nothing beats a soft train seat, some good music and a good book, or in an emergency, some work. Like writing this text.  I am currently sitting on a railway station waiting for the next train to take me home.

A train also has really low CO2 emissions when compared to driving all the way. As I would have driven alone I would have emitted some 85 more grams of CO2/ kilometer, and on these distances it really adds up. Taking that into consideration it would be stupid NOT to opt for a train ride.

What I am trying to get at with these rather tired ramblings is that planning is the key when using long range public transportation. Bring as much entertainment as possible, something to drink (forgetting coffee on such a ride is unforgivable!), a bit to snack on and make sure you have lots of time to your disposal. Also make sure to know the routes, some basic knowledge can save you hours of travel time. If you are a working person and use a laptop/notebook, the train can actually be a VERY comfortable workplace as well, much better than the station house in fact (the finishing touches of this text is done while on a train).

So the next time you are having a meeting you can’t make into a teleconference in a city far(ish) away, try taking the train. It is comfortable, safe and good for the environment. Things like what happened on MY ride seldom happen, so you actually get to your destination in good shape and well rested. I do all this while emitting less CO2 then I would if I drove all the way. I am busy saving the planet right now. What are you doing?

Commute Greener! everybody!

Fredrik

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