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Posts tagged with “Transportation” (All posts)
- November 6, 2012 at 9:45 am
Carleton has a new (as of this fall) electrical vehicle charger. The charger promotes more sustainable commuting for staff, faculty and guests, as well as furthering the college's climate action plan toward climate neutrality by 2050.
- January 19, 2009 at 11:26 am
The Sustainability Assistants recently applied for and won the UN Climate Crews Contest, aimed at helping schools get at those issues that are most weighing them down in the quest for a more sustainable campus. The grant money was awarded to proposals that would best address those points of the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s Annual Sustainability Report Card that the institution most needed to improve.
- October 24, 2008 at 1:15 pm
American colleges are looking for ways to encourage less students to bring cars to campus in an effort to save their colleges money, reduce school GHG emissions, and improve student health and well-being. A variety of approaches are being tried, with a number of factors influencing the success of different programs in different places. Eliza Berry discusses these programs and what might be reasonable at Carleton.
- June 9, 2008 at 1:27 pm
As of today, Carleton's new rideshare website is up and running! This website, created by Amy Wilson '08 for her ENTS capstone, features an interactive map that allows you to see who, in the Carleton community, lives near your home address, what your transportation options are in traveling to and from campus, and what the environmental impacts of commuting to Carleton are. This site is a fantastic resource for travel and for the study of transportation at Carleton and beyond. Faculty and staff can log in to see whether there are potential rideshare partners who live near them and students can use the site to see whether they can share rides at the beginning and end of breaks with other students. Check out the new site and make use of it in planning your vehicle travel to and from campus!
- May 28, 2008 at 10:49 am
As gasoline approaches a national average of $4.00 per gallon, very few people, even among the most ardent environmentalists, are completely welcoming and celebrating high gas prices. After all, increases in fuel costs disproportionately affect lower income individuals, many of whom spend a higher percentage of their income on energy sources like electricity and gasoline. Additionally, most earth-minded individuals are just as subject to a faltering economy as anyone else. Those things being said, though, there is a bright spot in the rise at the pumps—Americans are reducing the amount that they drive.
- March 31, 2008 at 3:12 pm
Wait no longer, campus drivers—the highly-anticipated arrival of two new Toyota Prius hybrids is upon us. Campus Services has announced that the vehicles are now on campus and officially a part of Carleton's vehicle fleet and can be reserved and checked out for college use. Each gas-electric hybrid Prius replaces a conventional compact car in the vehicle fleet and will be a more fuel efficient alternative, a consideration of increasing concern in the midst of high fuel costs. The EPA puts the 2008 Prius at the top of its fuel economy ratings with an estimated 48 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway.
- March 3, 2008 at 5:46 pm
I find this figure from the Sightline Institute to be particularly helpful because it clearly demonstrates the most effective ways to reduce emissions for transportation. Too often, I think there are people motivated to do something about global warming, but they just don’t know how. The information is rarely easily accessible, and there are even times when people with the best intentions may actually be doing more harm than good.
For instance, I used to think that riding on planes emitted far more carbon than a car. I even made the decision once to make a long car trip instead of flying partially because I thought it was better for the environment. It turns out that if I had chosen to fly there would have been marginally less carbon in the atmosphere than there is now.
There are numerous examples where these charts are astoundingly helpful. I keep this seafood selector card in my pocket and have consulted WRI’s climate bill analysis multiple times. If there are other examples you have, please share them with me. I would love to see them.
With this figure though, I think there’s a quick take-home: Shorter distances are preferable to longer distances and (generally) the more people involved the better.
(Kudos to Gary Wagenbach for sharing this)
- February 20, 2008 at 11:26 am
This June, members of the Carleton class of 1983 will get onto a plane or step into a car to make their way back to the land of Cows, Colleges, and Contentment to celebrate their 25th reunion. But Jim Haughn will not be joining them. Haughn and several other members of the class of ‘83 are going the extra mile to support the sustainability initiative at Carleton. Haughn has decided to ride his bicycle from his home near Toledo, Ohio to Northfield to in order to raise awareness and contributions for Carleton’s Sustainability Revolving Fund (SRF). The fund is a new mechanism that was created to support on-campus projects that will provide financial returns while also reducing the College’s greenhouse gas emissions. With pledges and contributions from fellow class members, Haughn hopes to raise at least $30,000 for the fund, which is in its first year of existence. To learn more about Haughn’s ride, or to get involved, visit Jim’s Bright Idea.
- February 11, 2008 at 3:34 pm
Carleton recently announced the coming addition of two Toyota Prius hybrids to the college's vehicle fleet. After hearing suggestions and input from the Carleton community, including members of the Environmental Advisory Committee, the Campus Services office (which oversees the fleet) made the decision to purchase the hybrids. A representative from Burnsville Toyota, the dealer from which the vehicles were purchased, brought a Prius to campus to announce the deal, which coincided with Carleton's participation in Focus The Nation on January 31. The Priuses, which will replace two of the sedans currently in the vehicle fleet, are expected to be on campus and ready for use by campus drivers sometime in March. The gas-electric hybrid Priuses will be much more fuel efficient alternative when compared to the other vehicles in the fleet, a consideration of increasing concern in the midst of rising fuel costs.
- November 15, 2007 at 9:59 am
SOPE (Students Organized for the Protection of the Environment) announced this past week the start of a new transportation option for Carleton students. In addition to the existing Yellow Bikes program, which provides and maintains bicycles for free, on-campus use, the Green Bikes program will allow students to take the bikes off-campus. Each of the four bikes is equipped with a milk crate to help students ride downtown for groceries or other errands. The program is open to all students. To borrow a green bike, go to Campus Activities. You will be given keys and a lock and you will be expected to return the bike in a timely manner. The initiative is sponsored by SOPE with assistance from the Yellow Bikes Club and the Campus Activities Office, in hopes that students will choose to travel between campus and downtown Northfield by bicycle rather than by car. The program will also make going into town more convenient for students in general. (Thanks to Ray McGaughey)
- October 30, 2007 at 10:56 am
It is clear that air travel is a significant contributor to global climate change. Studies indicate that aviation is currently responsible for 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions and air travel is only becoming more and popular. In 1999, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that air plane greenhouse gas emissions will increase tenfold between 1992 and 2050. Traveling 2,000 miles in an airplane emits approximately the same amount of carbon dioxide as driving 1,900 miles in a mid-sized car. However, Greenhouse gases emitted from airplanes have particularly damaging effects because of the altitude at which gases are released.
These disheartening numbers may compel you to look into purchasing carbon offsets along with your next plane ticket. Fortunately, there are currently dozens of companies through which individuals or organizations can neutralize their carbon emissions from flying. Such offsets can take multiple forms: investing in renewable energy (such as wind, biomass or solar), energy-efficiency projects (such as compact fluorescent lights, refrigerators) or biological sequestration (such as planting trees that will uptake carbon). There is a range of quality and standards amongst carbon offset companies, yet, there is currently no universal regulatory body governing the way in which companies use consumers' money. As such, it is up to consumers of these voluntary offsets to do their homework and ask lots of questions before choosing a company that they believe will most effectively offset their carbon emissions. When making this decision for yourself, you may want to check out company websites and send a few e-mails to find the answer to some of the following questions:
Is the carbon-offset company a non-profit or not? What percentage of their sales go towards operating costs? You may feel that you're getting the most bang for your buck if a high percentage of your money is going directly towards offset projects. Non-profits generally put more money directly towards projects (as opposed to operating costs). However, it is not entirely clear how different companies define "project implementation" funds versus operating cost funds.
What sorts of projects do they invest in? Renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects avoid emissions, whereas as sequestration projects absorb emissions that have already entered the atmosphere. Sequestration projects generally deal with the land use. This can be a little bit of a bargain as it can be difficult to predict what sort of diseases or human activity will plague a forest in the future.
If the company is investing in projects that would be carried out regardless of your financial support or receives renewable energy credits for a project, in addition to selling you offsets, then you are not actually offsetting your emissions. Such a company would not be worth your money.
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