When someone mentions “carpooling,” my mind immediately wanders to a place where currency is in baseball cards , sneakers light-up when you walk, and pizza lunchables are as gourmet as it gets. In the carpooling I’m thinking of, mom does all the driving, and my only job is to sit in the back with my friends and kick our legs against the seat. These days, as a so-called “grown up,” carpooling is a bit different.
Carpooling now brings thoughts of reverse blinking, hot coffee, lots of grumbling, and bad morning radio shows. While my current carpool experiences aren't as fun as my previous ones, they serve a much more important purpose. Not only am I saving money, I’m saving the planet. Well, maybe not saving the planet in the fashion of some sort of superhero, but at least helping it.
Let me break it down for you. My daily commute is roughly 13 miles. This amounts to roughly 65 miles per work week (13 x 5 = 65). Considering my carpool buddy David will be driving half the time, I’ll be saving myself 1690 miles of driving per year (52 weeks in a year/ 2 = 26 weeks. 26 weeks x 65 miles = 1690 miles). This means that David and I both are saving 100 gallons of gas per year (1690 miles/17 mpg). In terms of my total cost savings, with an average gas price of $3.50 per gallon, this amounts to roughly $350 per year. (100 gallons x $3.50 = $350 per year). Think about the opportunity cost! There are a lot of fun things you could do with an extra $350 in your pocket.
Aside from the financial impact, the impact I’m making by reducing my carbon footprint is also staggering. The average car driven by a single driver emits 1.10 lbs of carbon dixoide per mile. That means that by carpooling with David, we’re both reducing our carbon emissions by 1859 lbs per year (1690 miles x 1.10 lbs). Not bad, right?
Even if you can’t stand any of your co-workers, maybe it’s still worth it to carpool with them. Calculate your potential savings and at the very least, think about it.
Carpooling gives you the opportunity to connect with a coworker, your pocket book, and the Earth. Have a great day!
Post by Bobby Kanter
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