Driving can be the most convenient way of getting around (baring traffic jams), but out of all of the alternatives, driving weighs in at the high end of emissions. There are, of course, many jobs and situations where driving is essential, so it is fortunate that cleaner-burning biofuel is available!
On a per-person basis, the more people you can get into a car, the better. The average car, over the course of a year, emits about 12,100 pounds of carbon dioxide (calculate your CO2 emissions here - for gas burning cars using petroleum only). Carpooling can cut this number down significantly - one person per car emits 12,100 pounds of CO2 per person. Four people in that car would only emit about 3,025 pounds of CO2 per person. Talk to your co-workers and see if you can organize a carpool!
Speaking of emissions per person, riding the bus (or light rail) is another great option with most buses fitting 40+ people on board. The tradeoff is that buses are on a fixed schedule and have fixed routes. That said, bus routes go along major arterials and chances are that there is a bus heading to where you need to go. If you factor in the time it takes to find a parking spot, buses can be faster than driving. Plus, most public buses use biofuels!
I am an avid bicyclist, so I love having the opportunity to ride into work. Having put in substantial hours driving for work in the past (pizza delivery), I realize how lucky I am to live close to work (4 miles) and to drive so infrequently. Riding a bike is a non-polluting way to get around and is good exercise to boot! Biking is slower than any of the other options (and there is always the chance of getting caught out in the rain), but since it is so clean, it is a winner in my book.
Carshares like Zipcar (who recently acquired Flexcar) are another great option - even if you mainly use an alternative to driving, there are sometimes where you just need a car. Being able to rent a car for a few hours works great for a lot of people, but it does require some planning for your reservation.
Here at SeQuential, almost all of us own cars, but we don't always use them. Having our office be in downtown Portland means there are lots of transportation alternatives that we are very lucky to have. On the average day, these are the main ways SeQuential's administrative staff get to work:
- Alan, retail manager: biodiesel car
- Bo, development: bus, bike
- Ciara, retail manager: biodiesel car
- Carrie, accounting: bus, bike
- Dave, CEO: bike, running
- Gavin, sales: bus, biodiesel car
- Gloria, accounting: walking, ethanol car
- Ian, founder: bus, walking, biodiesel car
- Sasha, marketing: bike
- Sue, marketing: bike
- Tomas, founder: bus, biodiesel car
- Tyson, founder: bus, biodiesel car
- Will, marketing: bus