carsharing carbon offsets

For many Americans, transportation makes up the largest portion of their  personal carbon impact, and passenger vehicles are responsible for around 12% of U.S. carbon emissions. The good news is that carsharing makes a difference in this! Carsharing organizations give their drivers 24/7 self-serve access to vehicles located throughout the city. Trips are paid for by the hour and the mile, allowing people to avoid the fixed costs and hassles of owning a car and pay only for the time that they actually use. Carshare members tend to drive less (3,700 fewer miles per year according one study*) than car owners, in part because they also tend to travel more often by bus, bicycle and foot, and only pay to use a car when they really do need one.  Ithaca Carshare estimates that by carsharing rather than owning cars, its members avoided burning 17,000 gallons of gasoline and emitting 150 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2015!

Even so, the carbon footprint of Ithaca Carshare’s fleet was 70 tons in 2015.  In recognition of this impact, the organization has given back to the Ithaca community by using the Finger Lakes Climate Fund to offset the carbon emissions from the 34,579 miles driven in Ithaca Carshare vehicles in November and December of 2015.

“A carbon offset basically ensures that for each ton of fossil carbon emissions from your travel or household energy use, you pay to reduce a ton of carbon emissions by somebody else,” explains Sustainable Tompkins president Gay Nicholson. “The neat thing about our carbon offset program is that we are helping our neighbors in need while protecting the climate.”  Local businesses employ local people to install insulation, air sealing, efficient heating equipment, and other upgrades to houses owned by lower-income families. This increases comfort and reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in these homes. 

“As part of the Ithaca community, we’re proud to be able to support local jobs and energy efficiency improvements,” said Jennifer Dotson, Executive Director of Ithaca Carshare. “Finger Lakes Climate Fund makes it easy to keep local dollars here in the community while addressing part of our carbon footprint.”  Ithaca Carshare joins 112 local organizations, businesses, and individuals who offset 768 tons of carbon dioxide this past fall with the Finger Lakes Climate Fund

Ithaca Carshare encourages their members and the public to join them in this effort by offsetting personal 2015 miles. It's actually very affordable. For example, the average Ithaca Carshare member drove 180 miles in 2015, and the fleet average fuel economy was 31 mpg. That amount of driving would cost just $1.14 to offset!  Ithaca Carshare members can contact Ithaca Carshare to add their driving miles to the organizational contribution for 2015, and non-members can purchase offsets directly from the Finger Lakes Climate Fund

 

Downloads