While we sadly may be part of the exception rather than the rule here in LA, many of Global Green's staff in Santa Monica live close enough to the office to walk or bike to work with ease. We have two walkers, four bikers, and a bus-taker.
On top of that, we have lots of eco drivers: three Prius drivers, and three others with Toyotas that get 30+ mpg. Others in the office are behind the wheels of EVs: two drivers of the Ford Think Neighbor EV (remember that vehicle…they're still on the road!), and one new and very proud Chevy Volt owner. They share an outlet in the garage for charging up their vehicles – and when California gas prices topped $5 a gallon last month, they were feeling pretty good about their vehicle choices.
The topic of how much we pay at the pump and how we can reduce our carbon footprint with transportation methods was a water cooler topic in many workplaces with the latest surge in gas prices. As the rest of the nation reacted to the news with fear that prices would rise everywhere, we reminded ourselves that we are lucky to live in a state that is leading the way in fighting climate change with legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions on the roads, and with stationary sources. Our low carbon fuel standard and greenhouse gas emission reduction law means our air is cleaner and our impact on the planet is lessened.
It also means California is positively impacting the development of cleaner, fuel-efficient cars. Based on the EPA estimate that a typical passenger vehicle emits about 5.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, we were able to calculate the greenhouse gas savings of our Santa Monica staff: we are able to save more than 50 metric tons per year by walking, biking, and driving green cars. In the meantime, our conscious commute choices are saving us cash while we cut GHGs. And one employee also estimated that the walkers and bikers combine to burn off a half a million calories per year, too! It’s win-win-win.
Matt Petersen is President and CEO of Global Green USA, the American arm of Green Cross International