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Share Cars, Help the Planet

By Juliet Blalack

While it is common knowledge that cars are a big part of our carbon footprint, the benefits of more people sharing their cars is less well known. The fact of the matter is that most cars in the United States are driven only 8 percent of the time. If more people were to share their cars, that would mean fewer cars, less traffic jams, and less pollution.

“Car sharing has some really great benefits, one of which is that people drive 44 percent less when they share their car. So that leads to a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, It also leads to a healthier lifestyle, like being open to taking the bus or riding your bike,” says Jessica Scorpio, who co-founded peer-to-peer carsharing Web site GetAround.com, and now directs the company’s business development.

Car owners can rent their vehicles out using GetAround.com, or users can also try out cars for rent, and the company will provide insurance. Car sharing helps owners pay the costs of gas and maintenance, and it is also a great resource for people who do not own a car. GetAround also offers an iPhone app, making it easy to access on the go.

“This is a way you can offset your costs of ownership and try out a new trend as part of the collaborative consumption movement,” says Scorpio.

If you are interested in trying GetAround, you can sign up for free. You can also find out more about car sharing at The Carsharing Association’s Web site.

© 2011 SCGH, LLC. All rights reserved.

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