Saving the Planet One Rider At a Time

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By Vicki Olds, aka Shibumi – “Snowpals Reporter At-Large”

SnowPals is making a difference; saving our planet and particularly the Lake Tahoe Basin, one ride-share at a time.

“Did you know there are 1 billion cars in the world?  Unfortunately, we’re set to double this in the next 10 years.  Each shared car takes 13 cars off the road (average).  You can make a difference by sharing a car.”  — getaround.com

Since 1999, SnowPals members have ride-shared from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe and back at least 5,100* times (this is a conservative estimate*).  An average 400-mile round-trip in a vehicle that gets 28 miles per gallon average highway miles will burn 14.3 gallons of gas.  A gallon of gasoline burned releases 20 pounds of CO2 into the air.  By carpooling, each rider, in addition to the driver, represents 14.3 gallons of gasoline saved from being burned — or 286 pounds of carbon dioxide per round trip!

“A gallon of gasoline weighs about 6 pounds. Roughly 90% of that mass is carbon or about 5.5 pounds.  When that carbon is burned one atom of carbon, C, combines with two molecules of oxygen, O2, to form carbon dioxide, CO2.  One molecule of CO2 weighs about 3.5 times as much as an atom of carbon, so that 5.5 pounds of carbon burned results in about 20 pounds of CO2.”

— U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=307&t=11

High Five yourself, riders.  Together we have saved the planet from 1,458,600 pounds of carbon dioxide pollutants!

To calculate how much carbon pollution you contribute to the planet, annually, use the energy calculators at Infinite Power (gee, those Texans are really serious about oil): http://www.infinitepower.org/calc_carbon.htm

Plus, think about how much you have saved in gasoline expenses by offering to share your vehicle with a snow rider or two.  At 5,100 SnowPal ride-shares, times 14.3 gallons, times the price of a gallon of gas … that’s no small change.  In fact, that would be $218, 790 in dollars that did not go to Big Oil if you had paid $3/gallon at the pump, alone.

And, how many of us have made friends along the way?  Or shared a meal and a drink, or two, after the slopes … Oh, well let’s not go there!

* Median of 15 ride-shares/wk; with New Snow this shoots up to 30-35 ride-shares/week.  We’re saying that at least 4x/season there’s a surge of snow riders looking for new snow.

Help keep our planet green, save money and expand your circle of friends by joining Snowpals to ride share to Tahoe area ski resorts and beyond(members of Snowpals in past years joined forces and resources to organize ski and snowboard trips via carpooling/ride sharing to Colorado, Utah and even British Columbia ski resorts).

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