What Can You Do to Make Your Life a Little Greener? (Part II)
April was Earth Month – a time when everyone is encouraged to work together, do our part to protect our earth and conserve our natural resources But now, with all the publicity behind us, maybe it’s a good time to reevaluate our daily routines and think about what we can do differently to be kinder to the environment and reduce the amount of energy we consume on a regular basis. Many Chicago residents are already choosing a greener lifestyle by participating in citywide eco programs such as car sharing. It’s convenient, inexpensive and makes good old Mother Earth that much happier!
For the uninitiated, car sharing enables people in the city to use a vehicle whenever they need by picking up a car from a designated station and paying for the time they use it (kind of like short-term car rental). The benefit to car sharing is twofold. First, you’re doing the planet a favor by reducing the number of cars on the road, which means less carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Secondly, you’re doing your bank account a favor because you don’t have to buy/lease a car, pay for insurance, pay for parking, pay for city/neighborhood stickers, pay for repairs, or pay for gas.
There are a few different car sharing companies in Chicago – you may have noticed the signs around town at the docking stations – but the most common are Zip Car (national) and I-GO (Chicago-based). In order to cater to members distinctive – needs, a number of plans are offered – use it for a short trip to the grocery store or sign up for a frequent user package for regular commutes.
Rates vary, but I-GO has plans from $5.65 per hour (depends on day, time, location and car type) and Zip Car charges $9.50 per hour ($68 for the day). Unlike regular rental cars, gas and insurance is included, so you there aren’t any extra fees.
It’s clear the impact on your wallet is minimal however the impact of car sharing on the environment is monumental! Since every I-GO car takes the place of 17 privately owned vehicles, total traffic congestion in Chicago is reduced, carbon dioxide production is lessened, and gasoline consumption is decreased.