A better way to go

Driving alone in your car is just not sustainable anymore – neither for your pocketbook or for the planet.

If you can walk, that’s the best way to get around. It’s the cheapest and healthiest way to go. Bicycling is good too but without bike lanes it can be somewhat treacherous.

Taking a bus is a great way to get around but buses don’t always go where you want to go.

That leaves ridesharing – carpooling and vanpooling. There are several very good online sites that will help you connect with someone else going your way. New York State also offers a great Ridesharing website, 511NYRideshare, that can help you reduce your cost of commuting and find people to ride with.

If you’re worried about those days when you might need to get home in an emergency, the state offers a program called Guaranteed Ride Home.

Also on the website is a commuter calculator and a carbon calculator. Now that I’m no longer commuting to Syracuse every day for work, I can find out that if I was still doing that it would cost me $647 a month to commute, $7762 a year. I could have saved $3881 if I had carpooled with one other person, $5821 if I had carpooled with three additional people. It’s just a tad depressing to think of all the money that went into commuting that distance over 20 years.

If you’re not sure where your money is going, check out this calculator. If you’re looking for extra money to fix up your house, take a vacation, whatever – consider finding someone to share your ride.

There’s a link to a carbon calculator that will let you determine your family’s energy consumption and give you ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint.



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