Reduce pollution and save money by sharing rides

Our eco-tip this week: Save fuel, reduce pollution, cut congestion: share rides when you can.

Car ownership is expensive. Much of the cost comes in fuel and tax costs related to driving. It’s those times when the car is ‘driving’ that also have a large environmental and pollution cost. Reducing car use isn’t straightforward in outer suburban and rural areas. Sharing rides, or car-pooling is one obvious strategy for reducing fuel cost, congestion and environmental harm. However ride sharing beyond family groups is not yet a widely popular option in the UK.

The complex effects on society that personal use of cars has had, mean that ride sharing schemes have to overcome many barriers. One barrier to ride sharing is that it is very common for people to accept very tight scheduling, multi-tasking and multiple responsibilities. These trends are particularly evident in people living in rural and outer urban areas.

The church is made up of sister and brothers, sharing an adoption as children of God. Acts 4:32, a description of the early church, describes a remarkable economic community: where ‘they had everything in common’. This should make churches, or groups of churches fruitful ground for ride sharing scheme. Could we start in @acnbchurch?

Research in the Netherlands show that there was 30% less car ownership amongst car sharers and they drove 15% to 20% fewer car kilometres than prior to car sharing. The shared cars mostly replace a second or third car. Due to reduced car ownership and car use, car sharers emit between 240 and 390 fewer kilograms of CO2 per person, per year. This is between 13% and 18% of the CO2 emissions related to car ownership and car use..