I’ll be the first to admit up front that I have some work to do to actually become more environmentally conscious. Not that I try to do anything harmful, but I generally haven’t been to spend a lot of time thinking about ways I could save the earth. A few thoughts on the environment do enter my mind here and there, but not to the point of it being a big passion of mine.
Just being real here.
That being said, it really is up to each of us to make decisions that can help the environment and keep the earth clean and safe for future generations. Being a parent gets one to think about such things a bit differently, and of the big picture. I want future generations, including my kids and their peers, to live responsibly and enjoy Earth without destroying it further.
If that’s not enough reason to at least think about the environment a little bit more, here is another one: saving money!
With that being said, here are 3 ways that you can save some greenbacks by making green choices with transportation:
Drive a Fuel-Efficient Car
This is probably easier for some of us than for others. By this, I mean that many people place higher value on other attributes when purchasing a vehicle. You know, things like Zero-to-Sixty speed, horsepower, brand name, etc. I’ll admit I like many such things too, of course! That being said, in some cases we can save a good deal of money buying a car that simply gets more miles to the gallon, all other (important) things being equal.
Let’s say Car A gets 20 mpg, and Car B gets 25 mpg (use similar logic outside the U.S.). If each car is driven to 200,000 miles in its useful life, it would mean that Car A used 10,000 gallons over its lifetime and Car B used 8,000. Of course that comes out to 2,000 gallons less for Car B. At $3.50 per gallon, that means $7,000 less in fuel costs over the life of the car.
That’s pretty good, don’t you think? It’s just one example and cost differences can vary based on vehicles being compared, but you get the idea. Money can be saved, and less fuel can be used along with subsequent car emissions. That seems like a win-win, for your bank account and for the environment!
Let’s say you can’t take public transportation, but you have the option to get to work without driving as often. Wouldn’t that still be nice?
The trick is, technically you would still be in a car. However, you wouldn’t be in your own car the whole time. If you carpooled with just one other person, you could cut your commuting-related expenses by up to 50%! Realistically it will probably be a bit lower savings than that, as the two of you aren’t likely to be living at exactly the same location. However, the savings could still be substantial.
Let’s say you were each driving 40 miles to work round trip. With carpooling, perhaps there would be some additional driving – perhaps it would come out to 60 miles round trip in total driving when you drive together.
When driving separately, that’s 80 miles of driving – and fuel – that’s required to take 2 people to work. When driving together, it’s just 60 miles of driving in total. Thus, 20 less miles – perhaps a gallon of gas – are required for this purpose. The environment wins.
You might win as well! Taking turns in this example, you would end up cutting your fuel costs by 25% (40 miles in gas vs. 30 miles in gas carpooling). Plus, an even bigger amount of savings might come from the reduced wear and tear on your vehicle.
Take Public Transportation
By taking public transportation, we can get cars off the road! Carrying 100 people on one train line on one commute route would seem to be better than having those people driving 100 separate cars in to work. Would those 100 vehicles cause more impact to the environment than would one train? I would guess so though I can’t for sure. Seems logical, right?
In addition to the benefits of few cars and their emissions, as well as less gas used by all those vehicles, there are other considerations as well. There are some real advantages to public transportation, including saving money.
As a side note, I’ve also seen someone use a clever approach to getting a free train ticket, though I would never recommend it 🙂
My Questions for You
Do you think about the environment when considering your transportation choices?
Have you taken any of these 3 actions in order to save and go green?
Do you have any others to add?