We get it. There’s a major convenience and freedom when it comes to owning your own car.  You can come and go as you please without having to rearrange your schedule to fit someone else’s. You can listen to whatever you feel like and have personal time to figure life out. Cars are a great way to connect us to people and places, but have you ever thought about the downside to driving by yourself every day? Did you know that cars make up 48 percent (link to source) of daily emissions? In Utah we have a major problem with air quality during the inversion season. Due to Utah’s unique topography, inversions are inevitable. But we can all do something to reduce the pollution that gets trapped in it.

Have you ever considered carpooling? Carpooling is great way to reduce your emissions and save money. We know it can be nerve-racking at first approaching your coworkers or friends about setting up a carpool, but you can do it. If you carpool at least once a week, you can save $11 and reduce your emissions by 16.63 pounds per day. Not only will you save money and reduce your emissions, you’ll feel less stress from everyday driving, too.

We are carpool enthusiasts at UCAIR and know exactly what you need to know to have a successful carpool group. Here are our top 10 tips for creating and keeping a carpool group:

  1. Find coworkers or friends who live near you. This will save you time when picking-up and dropping-off.
  2. Set a pick-up and drop-off time schedule, but be prepared to be flexible in case of an emergency.
  3. Rotate drivers. No one wants to be part of a carpool group if they have to drive every day.
  4. Share your contact information with group members and vice versa.
  5. Drive safe and smart. Remember you are carrying important cargo.
  6. Keep your car nice and clean. No one likes riding in a car that smells and looks like the dump.
  7. Get to know your coworkers during your commute, but don’t be afraid of quiet time.
  8. Prepare some awesome music. Let’s be honest, nothing dulls the drive to work like lame music. If you and your carpool buddies have different taste in music that’s ok. You can switch off-and-on who gets to control the dial.
  9. Be prepared to show your “fun” side in the car, but be warned, your coworkers may post your car dancing moves on YouTube.
  10. Bring treats or coffee if you are feeling generous. You’ll be everyone’s favorite driver.

Carpooling doesn’t have to be something completely out of your comfort zone. You can have a good time getting to know your carpool buddies and reduce your emissions. It’s a win-win for everyone. For more tips on carpooling, check out TravelWise’s carpooling page.

Looking to start a carpool? TravelWisetracker.com is a great place to find and start a carpool group.