Alternative Fuel and Transportation

Published on May 4th, 2009 | by Stephanie Evans

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Reduce Your Carbon Emission with Green Car Rentals

The cost of gas may fluctuate, but one thing remains constant: you are always responsible for the carbon emissions you release into the environment. Currently, each U.S. passenger vehicle emits about 160 grams of carbon for every mile driven.

Even though hybrid cars are now available and other alternative fuel cars are under research and development, it will be some time before each car owned is a clean energy vehicle. In the meantime, consider renting one!

Photo by Six27.RPM Gauge

RPM Gauge

The typical American lifestyle requires driving. Most families have more than one car. Some families have more cars than they need. Generally, the larger the car, the more gas it uses. Traditional family cars like SUVs and minivans have a reputation for being gas-guzzlers. In a world of climate change the large number and large size of cars typically owned by an individual American family is troubling. When you can: walk, bike, and take public transportation. If you have to drive and having a car is necessary consider the following:

Rent a car instead of owning one.

One way to help is by renting cars when you need them rather than owning them. Think about giving up car ownership in favor of rental. You will save money, resources, and significantly cut down on your carbon emissions.

Car rentals have historically been used for business and leisure travelers who needed cars to travel to and within destinations away from their home. Currently, companies like Avis and Hertz are nearly synonymous with business and vacation travel. But they are available any time, whatever the occasion. Consider this very viable and economically practical alternative to costly and potential wasteful long-term vehicle ownership.

More than ever, there is a huge focus on the need for energy efficient cars. The market is being changed by factors like the need to reduce carbon emissions, and the national effort to reduce our dependence on oil imports. Car rental companies are following the demands of the economy. Many of them have begun to offer fuel efficient cars. You can now rent hybrids and other extremely fuel economic vehicles (including biodiesel vehicles!) at very reasonable rates.

Consider a green car rental company the next time you need to rent.

Enterprise Rent-a-car offers hybrid Toyota Prius rentals at certain locations across the country and Hertz has a green collection that offers various types of environmentally friendly vehicles. FindExotic.com is a user-friendly online resource that offers hybrid car rental comparison as well as rates and review from all the best green agencies in the hybrid car business.

Photo by Wader.Hybrid Start Button

Hybrid Start Button

San Francisco airport is launching the nation’s first green car rental program that rewards customers for renting alternative fuel cars. The city estimates that more than 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year will be eliminated via this program. If you plan a trip to Maui or Oahu (Hawaii) then you will want to check out Bio-Beetle. This is the first company in the world to offer rental cars that run entirely on biodiesel, a clean burning diesel fuel made from all natural, vegetable sources.

Car Share makes car rental even more user friendly.

The car sharing business launched in Switzerland in the late eighties and expanded in Europe before coming to North America via Quebec City in 1993. This business model gives you the opportunity to lessen your impact on the environment even with traditionally fueled cars because it allows you to rent a car only for the specific time that you actually need it. This discourages the tendency to use cars in lieu of public transportation, something that many car owners are guilty of.

While offering a combination of traditional and alternative fuel cars, you have the opportunity to rent by the hour and tailor your hours based upon your purpose. For example, if want to go to the grocery store for a couple of hours, or you want drive to visit a friend for part of the day, you can find a car rental plan that fits your schedule and your budget.

Car share companies usually have a range of cars parked in various different locations in any given city. After signing up as a customer, you simply go online to search for cars available in your area for the time slot of your choice. The operations are fairly well developed and it is usually very easy to find a car close to where you live.

Zip Car is perhaps the largest and most well known car share company in the world. You can now find local car share companies in most cities. Carsharing.net is a great online resource that helps you find local car share companies in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia.



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