It’s a fact that driving is the most polluting activity most Vermonters undertake on a daily basis. It accounts for nearly half of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention the impact on our watersheds and land use patterns. As a society, we’ve become so dependent on our cars that they’re the default choice for getting around, even when other modes are readily available and cost less. Car ownership is the number one factor that contributes to all this driving—when people own a car, they tend to use it more than necessary out of habit.
The great news is that the arrival of car-sharing is shifting this pattern in a big way. By giving people the choice to own fewer cars without limiting their freedom and mobility, car-sharing encourages people to drive a lot less. In 2013, CarShare Vermont members drove 2.7 million fewer miles per year and spared the air over 2.5 million pounds of CO2.
Because car-sharing helps people become less car dependent, it leads to a major dip in vehicle ownership. In fact, for every vehicle CarShare Vermont puts into circulation, 15 are removed from the road. More than 75% of CarShare Vermont members belong to zero or one-vehicle households. Even if CarShare Vermont is not for you, we all benefit from cleaner air and water, less congested streets, and a healthier community.