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The Racing Extinction Challenge: Transportation

posted: 11/19/15
by: Danny Clemens
Trails of car lights
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Editor's note: This week, I'm taking the Racing Extinction Challenge. Join me as I make small lifestyle changes related to my diet, energy consumption and transportation habits. Click here to learn more.

Suburban life isn't the most eco-friendly way of living. Unlike in cities, options for public transportation out here in the 'burbs are extremely limited. Biking and walking work for some of my travels, but many of my daily errands are too far to realistically bike or walk to. There aren't enough people out here for ride-sharing to be a viable option, either.

In the face of such challenges, what's a climate-minded guy like me to do? As they always say, where there's a will, there's a way, and I've managed to find a few ways to play my part in cutting down my transportation-related carbon footprint.

Earlier this year, I had an unfortunate incident with my car. As I was driving up the interstate on my way home from work, the transmission exploded, leaving me shaken and sending my beloved SUV for the junkyard.

Obviously, not everybody can go out and buy a new car on a whim, but I was faced with an opportunity to make a decision that could make a big difference: I traded in my gas guzzler for a compact sedan with amazing gas mileage. My fuel economy has now nearly doubled, leaving a sizable dent in my carbon footprint and much more cash in my wallet each week after I fill up my tank.

As much as I love whizzing around in my new fuel-efficient whip, I've also made the decision to telecommute each Friday. I'm very lucky to work for a company that affords its employees flexible working arrangements, and my supervisors have been highly supportive of my decision to work from home one day a week.

Although a weekly stay-at-home day may seem like a small step, the impact adds up. My daily round-trip commute spans 50 miles. Slashing my commute by 50 miles each week adds up to 2,600 fewer miles driven, the equivalent of nine entire tanks of gas (90 gallons) throughout the year, not to mention the savings related to parts and routine maintenance.

I know that I'm not the only one with a long commute -- how many tanks of gas could we save if we all worked at home one day per week?

Want to join me? Don't forget to sign up for the challenge at RacingExtinction.com. Check back with me tomorrow here on discovery.com, and I'll let you know how I'm doing.

I want to hear how it's going for you! Tweet @Discovery with the hashtag #StartWith1Thing and let us know how you're making making a difference.

We need to take a stand for our planet before it's too late.
Click here to find out how you can #StartWith1Thing and make a difference.

Racing Extinction horizontal key art

 

On Wednesday, December 2nd, Discovery will present a global broadcast of Racing Extinction, a powerful eco-thriller that exposes issues of endangered species and mass extinction. Visit RacingExtinction.com for more information.

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