Depending on where you live, summer is here or just about here. And, unless you've been living under a rock, you know that gasoline is spendy -- over 4 bucks a gallon, on average -- and it's going to get more expensive as the summer wears on. While the ultimate solution -- driving less -- is easy to say and difficult to implement, there's one thing we all can do, starting right now, to make a difference in our wallets and for the planet.
Here's the scoop: driving by yourself is a pretty inefficient way to get around. So, even if you can't drive an electric car or fuel up with biofuels, you can make it a little greener by dipping your toe in the car pool.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the US Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that the average cost of owning and operating a motor vehicle in 2003 was $0.53 per mile. With gas costs rising, that number is certainly higher now, and will only continue to climb. The DOT also says that over 18% of all American household expenditures each year pay for owning and operating our personal cars. Plus, about 20% of our carbon footprint comes from driving, and 86% of us drive to work alone. Yikes. All these numbers add up to one quick and easy solution.
Though TreeHugger prefers bicycles and legs for transportation over automobiles, sometimes cars are the only way to go. When the time for four-wheeled, petroleum-powered transportation comes, we definitely recommend that you find a friend who's going the same way. Whether you're heading across town or across the country, carpooling is a good way to use more seat belts and cut back on emissions.
Image credits: Getty Images