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Best Practices In Energy Conservation

Carpool, ride your bike or take the bus

Carpool, ride your bike or take the bus

Photo: BikeProblem: You are not fortunate enough to live within walking distance of your work.

Solution: Maybe you could spend an extra few minutes riding your bike to work everyday and save yourself a trip to the gym. You get a free workout in time and money. If you live too far for the bike, then why not carpool or take the bus to save gas money? Visit the UCSB Transportation Alternatives Webpage and sign into the carpool matching service
Benefits: You may read while commuting on the bus and prepare for your day. You can save at the gas pump not to mention parking passes cost over 400 dollars. For an average car you avoid about one pound of CO2 emissions per mile traveled. Your fitness will improve with a “free” workout.
Cost: You need to start your day a little earlier and adjust to cool mornings. (Don’t let a little fog dampen your spirits).

Take the express bus (24X) downtown if needed on a workday

Photo: BusProblem: You need to travel between downtown and UCSB and you don’t have a lot of time to worry about parking.

Solution: The 24X runs between downtown and UCSB every half hour during the day. The bus takes less than 20 minutes to get from the bus loop to the transit center. Best of all, its free to UCSB students and $1.25 for staff.
Benefits: You can read on the way to your appointment, and prepare for your meeting.
Cost: It takes time to adjust to the bus schedule and transfers can take more time than is convenient. If you don’t have the proper UCSB identification bus drivers won’t let you ride for free.

Only ship overnight or “rush” when absolutely necessary

Photo: Shipping VanProblem: Overnight or “rush” delivery almost always means sending the package by air. Unfortunately planes contribute more GHG per package than trucks do and the gases are released directly into the upper atmosphere where they are more dangerous. While choosing shipping options of 2 or 3 days can still mean your package is on a plane, it gives the shipping company more of an opportunity to ship in bulk which saves on resource and transportation costs.

Solution: The best thing you can do is ship your package by ground. This means having your package ready a few days earlier so that you aren’t in a rush at the last minute to get it there. Most shipping companies can guarantee when your package will be delivered by ground even if it is not the next day.
Benefits: Shipping by ground uses about 1/5 the amount of gas that shipping by air does. And with the cleaner burning diesel trucks that are just beginning to replace traditional trucks contribute much less to global warming.
Cost: If a package really needs to be somewhere the next day you might not have the option of shipping by ground but with some good planning avoiding overnight deliveries can save over 80 percent on shipping costs.

Buy carbon offsets with “additionality”

Problem: You have travel obligations in your personal life or your work.

Solution: Offset the amount of carbon you are contributing to the atmosphere by funding programs that sequester carbon out of the atmosphere. Remember to only fund programs that would have been done without your support which meet the criteria of “additionality”. For more information check out Cleanair Coolplanet’s Consumers Guide to carbon offset sellers.
Benefits: If you only buy carbon offsets for your car travel you can prevent 4.5 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Moreover by participating in the carbon offset market you are encouraging more companies to compete for ways to sequester carbon more efficiently, saving them and you money.
Cost: Typical Carbon Offsets sell from 5-25 dollars for every ton of carbon dioxide. For a large SUV that means about 1,350 miles of driving, or in terms of a smaller car or airplane travel, 2,000 miles of travel.

Use teleconferencing or videoconference instead of flying to a meeting

Problem: You have to meet with some colleagues but you don’t like the pains of small seats and crowded airports.

Solution: Save yourself the travel and invest in a microphone, web camera and free video conferencing software from Microsoft or Apple (e.g. ConferenceXP). Alternately set up a time over at Kerr hall and use their videoconference rooms. Some laptops are already equipped with the hardware. This is most effective with people you already know.
Benefits: By avoiding a cross-country jet flight you prevent about one ton of CO2 emissions.
Cost: You may miss out on some time exploring a new city and it can be more productive to meet in person with new colleagues.

Find alternative transportation around campus

Photo: School BumProblem: It’s rarely worth your time to get in your car and go a mile across campus only to find no parking spaces, plus this wastes fuel and CO2 emissions. Sometimes bicycling or skateboarding is just too conventional and doesn’t allow you to carry things.

Solution: Try a scooter with a bike trailer tied to your belt loop. You can haul delicate and sun-sensitive samples to companion laboratories across campus, plus you will gain fame and recognition for your innovation.
Benefits: By not driving your car that extra mile each day can prevent around 200 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and over 10 gallons of gas per year. Also the air quality is much better outside than in a car or office and the extra workout can save you time at the gym.
Cost: For each round trip you will prevent about one pound of CO2 emissions. Large potholes may pull your pants off.