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It's not easy being green! - Kermit T. Frog   Home Colleges & Universities 12 Steps toward Sustainability Transportation

Motor vehicle transportation has an enormous impact on the environment and accounts for roughly one third of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, as well as the majority of air pollution in many areas. In addition, motor vehicle transportation is one of the least sustainable forms of transportation. In order to demonstrate environmental responsibility and make the campus community more sustainable, campuses should utilize transportation technologies and strategies which minimize pollution and energy consumption.
    Students at the University of Connecticut have made biodiesel fuel in a lab and are fueling up their biodiesel-fueled shuttle bus with it.
  Organizational Assistance   Best Practices  
  • Encourage Carpooling
    Carpooling can help minimize emissions and save money. Consider offering the best parking spaces to carpoolers. Some colleges also encourage carpooling by not allowing cars with only one occupant to use the parking garages.
  • Support Rideshare
    Rideshare is an online organization to help people link up with others for carpooling purposes. Rideshare allows your employees to find carpooling partners they would otherwise be unable to link up with.
  • Use Public Transportation
    Public transportation is part of an efficient solution for congested streets and pollution. Mass transit systems, such as buses, might use five times the amount of fuel as a car, but transports up to sixty people at a time. One effective strategy often used to get students to use mass transit is to coordinate with the local mass transit system to set discounted fares for students. With the price of gas on the rise, discounts make public transportation more competitive, especially for commuters.
  • Support Bikes and Walking
    Biking to work or school is a great way to save money and encourage a healthy lifestyle. However, with bicycle theft being a major problem in some areas, it may be necessary to construct small locked facilities for students and faculty to store bikes when they are not in use. Also consider installing a shower facility for bicyclists who travel a great distance and do not wish to attend class or work unkempt.
  • Convert Vehicles to Alternative Fuels
    In larger cities and in some production areas, there may be access to alternative fuels for automobiles, such as ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol utilizes ethyl alcohol mixed with gasoline to fuel an engine. Switching to ethanol requires virtually no modifications to the vehicle. Pure ethanol engines however cannot run using gasoline, and given the limited number of pure ethanol pumps, it would be rational to ensure that vehicles can run on a combination of the two. New ethanol vehicles often run on E-85 which is a fuel solution made of 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol. Biodiesel, on the other hand, is more readily available, and can be produced on campus. It can be made from waste vegetable oil, available from fast food restaurants like McDonalds, or from the campus's own kitchens.
  • Purchase High-Efficiency Vehicles
    There are a wide variety of efficient vehicles on the market. All classes of personal vehicles are now available with hybrid engines, including compact cars, sedans, trucks, and SUVs. Hybrids use inertia capturing to power an electric motor. This technique significantly improves fuel economy. In addition to vehicles capable of using renewable fuels, hybrids and, more specifically, their efficiency, can contribute greatly to the campus image.
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