Make sure you check out the good folks at Beyond Boarding to take the pledge towards making positive change through humanitarian and environmental activisim. I took the pledge towards awareness and education through keeping up this blog. Believe it or not, keeping this blog fresh and updated is the hardest thing for me. That's not to say that tackling my transportation issue isn't easy, but I all ready have an addictive competition to recycle, compost, and have captured the low-hanging fruit at home (that's another post). I could stand to make a capital investment in sealing my ducts (discovered during an energy audit) and it would be awesome to install solar since we have a great system where I live (I currently purchase green power through my distributor)…those things will come.
I would like to continue my efforts in research, so there you go…my pledge to keep this going. I encourage you to make a pledge! Even if it's a small one, the power of one is where it's at.
I wanted to share my final results of the Commuter Challenge. I had hoped and planned on biking a partial route to work to raise awareness and offset my total greenhouse gases, but injured my shoulder... so the bike commute didn't happen. I did, however, get a chance to collect more information from local bike stores and outdoor stores that support biking and what I found was a thriving community that has produced some great educational literature and maps for commuting via bike. I would still like to bike in one day and will make sure to cover that when it happens.
The last two weeks, I honestly lost momemtum after hurting my shoulder and spent the last two weeks sulking and went back to driving. Pretty lame, but I could use the data for the final couple of weeks as a control for comparing the time that I did try commuting options. Here are the results:
Alternative Commuting (bus, carpooling, telecommuting):
Total miles traveled alone via car-406
Total miles carpooled-301
Total GHG produced-489 lbs
Total GHG saved-234 lbs
Total spent $120
Total saved $58
Regular old commuting (car):
Total miles traveled via car-429.2
Total GHG produced-466 lbs
Total GHG saved- 0 lbs
Total spent $115
Total saved $0
After looking at the totals, I am considering the purchase of a hybrid or electric commuter car for my next purchase. The cost savings alone would make this a great investment, but most importantly I could reduce or offset my greenhouse gas emissions. I have to admit, it really felt great to reverse the greenhouse emissions. I could see how this action could drive some people to want to try to offset their emissions. I plan on continuing to taking the bus when it fits my schedule. Until you try something, you'll never learn. I'm very happy that the Commuter Challenge was a driving force to get me to try this and that I kept up the momentum. I wish that my crazy yoga injury would not have happened, but life happens. Just because the challenge is over doesn't mean I have to stop, so I will try biking.
I would like to encourage readers to try explore the alternatives yourself and see what you think. It may take a lot of courage and self-motivation, but you can learn something!
Disclaimer: This is a personal blog and all articles and opinions contained within are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or commuter challenge. Examples of the analysis are only examples as they are based on limited data. Assumptions made within are not reflective of anyone's position but my own.