written by: Frederick•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 6/28/2011
Learn how car sharing benefits the environment and some of the efforts being made to increase the use of car sharing.
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Introduction to Car Sharing
Since the beginning of burning fossil fuel to sustain the industrial revolution, there’s been a steady build-up of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere where plants and trees have no chance to absorb it in the process of photosynthesis. Other factors that add up to this dilemma is deforestation without a well-planned reforestation and unavoidable natural calamity like forest fires. This excess carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere is one of the major contributors to global warming. So, as an individual or collective group, what other ways can we do to prevent global warming? One of the ways we can do this is by car sharing.
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Benefits in the Environment
Yes, that’s right? By working collectively, not as individual, we can reduce carbon emissions coming from cars by car sharing. Typically, this is the preferred option in cases where other modes of transportation like buses or trains are not accessible.
Car sharing is an alternative to owning a car or renting. It is also termed as car pooling, lift sharing or ride sharing. Definitely it’s a cheaper alternative than owning a car. In some countries, detailed information and arrangements can be made through the Internet or accessed through phone for car sharing. There are national companies and companies in local communities which offer carsharing programs. You simply join, in which your driving record is checked and reserve a car.
Carbon emission reduction is a global concern and other than car sharing alternatives like using renewable energies have long been explored. These renewable energies are still being developed and it will take time to proliferate globally. The most immediate action that we can take with global impact if done collectively is car sharing. This is highly recommendable if you have many cars to share which definitely give you the opportunity to earn money. For those who have no car, this is a cheaper alternative than renting a car from a rental company. It is quite popular on college campuses nationwide.
Along with global warming, carbon emissions from cars also increase air pollution in the environment which directly affects humans. The fuel particulates which have not been completely burned during the combustion process are released into the environment which cause irritation of the respiratory tract and eyes of humans and to a certain extent a contributor to acid rain.
Other potential benefits of car sharing in the environment are:
fewer cars means decreased usage of non-biodegradable materials and fossil fuel energy sources used in car production
fewer cars means less space is required to store scrapped cars
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May Not Be A Perfect Solution
Car sharing may not be the perfect solution to decrease the impact of carbon emission and air pollution in the environment but a practical one. Ultimately, people should walk as much as possible. In the long term, the ultimate solution would be mass transportation alternatives with little accessibility issues. However, in remote locations where mass transportation is impossible, car sharing is a better option.