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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It’s Not Where You Go but How You Get There

By: Margaret Deller, Extension Educator

With an oil volcano in the Gulf, Floridians are concerned about the environmental costs of their cars.

One simple, low cost way to reduce those environmental costs is to carpool. The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) is even having a contest for the Coolest Carpool.
Shoot a G-Rated video about why carpooling is fun, good for the environment, saves money, reduces stress, or any other benefit of carpooling you can think of and post it on If you have the coolest carpool you could win a Kindle, GPS system, digital camera, or an iPod Nano.

Another way to reduce those environmental costs is to ride the bus. Unfortunately, this might get more expensive or have some services eliminated. Attend one of the public workshops and learn about the proposed changes, ask questions, and share your ideas. Can’t make it to the workshops or the hearings? Email, please include your name and address in the email for the official record.

Another slightly more expensive way to be more environmentally friendly on the go would be to drive a plug in electric or plug in hybrid electric (PHEV) car. Ramona Madhosingh-Hector, our Urban Sustainability Agent, was able to test drive a few different models during Project Get Ready Tampa Bay. She said, “They handle just like regular cars but they are so quiet.” And it is not just about saving the environment. An all electric car can save you about $1000 a year on fuel costs and a PHEV about $950.


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