First, a bit of business. I wanted to let those of you who subscribe to the blog by email or RSS reader know that we have a very active and interesting commenting community. You may want to come have a look, either to leave comments of your own or simply to read the informative comments of others. Today might be a good day to start because we'd love ideas on how to save gas and auto-related carbon emissions. All you have to do is click on the title of the post.
The way I see it, the answer to living the $4 a gallon life when gas hits $5 a gallon is to get--one way or another--the equivalent of five days of commuting for the price of only four. That's like paying only $4 per gallon when it's $5 at the pump. Meanwhile, you cut your gas costs and driving-related carbon emissions by 20%.
Some of these tips give you 20%, some a little less, and some a little--or a lot--more if you take better advantage of them:
- Work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days and commute 20% less. Plus, you get a three-day weekend. Read about the benefits on Oil Drum, how Kent University offered its custodial staff a four-day work week on Yahoo, or a round-up on USA Today.
- Work from home one day (or more). Read about how to convince your boss to let you telecommute at Productivity 501 or at CNN. According to the Telework Coalition companies benefit from telecommuting by increased productivity, reduced staff turnover, and the fact only salaries have a higher effect on attracting top talent.
- Try mass transit one day a week (or more, when you find you like it). In addition to the money and gas you'll save, you'll lose weight and become more fit, not to mention other personal benefits (you could meet the man/woman of your dreams!). Hopstop gives subway and bus directions for eight major American cities. Calculate what you'll save from using public transportation here.
- Give carpooling a chance. Look for rides at Ride Amigos. Calculate what you'll save by carpooling here. Read about the benefits here.
- Quit commuting and live near your work. Read about the suburban exodus at the Wall Street Journal. Search "live near your work" alongside the name of your state on Google to find grant programs that will help pay the costs of your relocating.
- Best of all, there's walking and biking, if your commute will allow it. Even if you can't get all the way to work, you can still bike or walk to your transit stop. There's great primer on bike commuting here.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.