The best bus ever

The best bus ever
Jason Sievers' awesome Art in Transit bus

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bus riders on Page 1

The Idaho Statesman's Page 1 coverage of Al Gore's visit includes a sidebar about the Chavez family of Boise, which has reduced its carbon footprint from 64,989 to 41,541 pounds of CO2 each year, for a per capita footprint of 13,847. (The U.S. average was 44,000 in 2003.) Natalie and Todd Chavez are shown on their daily commute on the #10 Hill Road/Maple Grove bus, which takes them from their northwest Boise home to their downtown jobs, helping them keep a net 7,437 pounds of CO2 out of the Boise airshed each year - just by driving less and taking the bus.

Although the Statesman story makes it clear that plenty of skeptics still doubt whether the Earth is really warming, people like the Chavezes aren't waiting for definitive proof. They're taking action now: riding the bus, driving less, taking fewer vacation flights, and offsetting a quarter of their electrical use via a $5 a month contribution to Idaho Power's Green Power program.

All these steps create significant carbon savings. One area in which the savings doesn't seem to be worth their sacrifice is heating. Since 2001, they've turned their gas heat down from 70 to 60 during the day and 64 at night, but that resulted in a reduction of just 1,452 pounds of CO2. I know every little bit helps, but in my opinion (as someone who still shivers with the thermostat at 70 and a sweater on), that's way too little benefit to be that cold!

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