Greenify Your Commute

June 18, 2008

The average price of fuel this week in the U.S. is $4.08 a gallon, well over a dollar higher than it was a year ago at this time. As high as that is for us, in Europe the average gasoline price is close to $9.00 a gallon.

If you Greenify your commute, you can save a little on gas and help save the planet at the same time.

Ten hour days, four days a week are now normal for city workers in Birmingham, AL. If you can convince your boss to let you do the same, you will save 20% of your fuel costs for the week, encounter less traffic since you will not be driving during peak hours (less traffic idling too!), and your place of employment will save on electricity costs – less AC will be used. If you want to maintain a five day work week, can you telecommute a day or two a week?

Walk or use public transportation. Since public transportation is not as convenient in most cities in the US as it is in Europe, this may not be a good option for you; but maybe that means it is time to start lobbying for more public transportation in your area.

Looking for a new car? Some employers (Google, Timberland, Patagonia, Bank of America to name a few) are offering financial incentives of up to $5,000 to employees who purchase either fuel efficient cars or alternative fuel cars. The top most fuel efficient cars include Smartfor Two, the Mini Cooper, Toyota Yaris, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius, Honda Accord, Honda Fit, VW Passat Wagon, Ford Escape Hybrid, and the Ford Focus.

You can green your commute by keeping your car as well tuned by as possible – make sure your tires are properly inflated, regular oil changes, etc. A well maintained car will use 10% less gas than a car that is not taken care of.

And finally, car pool to work. One woman in my office bikes 4 ½ miles every day to a co-worker’s house and they ride in together with a third co-worker. Split three ways, gas prices are much more manageable and it is nice to have a little company on their 60 mile roundtrip.

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