Like a good book on reeling in your household budget will tell you, you have to know where your money is going to prior to determining where you can make changes. In this light, Eric Boyd - the Digital Crusader, kept a log for 3 months and 3 days to see where all those miles on his car were coming from.
What an interesting idea. One that maybe more of us who purport to be environmentalists and live "green" lifestyles should do. How else can we know where to cut trips from? Maybe I'll get my Palm Pilot set up to help me track the same thing for a month. Who knows, maybe a "miles travelled budget" will be easier to tackle than the home finances.
I kept records from Monday October 16th, 2007 to Tuesday December 19th, 2007, a period of three months and three days. During that time, I got in my car 258 times, traveled 1278.6 miles, filled my gas tank 4 times, and made my girl friend think I was obsessive-compulsive about record keeping :-). Each of the 258 records consists of the date, where I got out of the car, and a reading from the trip odo.
Here are a few of Eric's conclusions: Hit the jump for his full "experiment" and his results.
In terms of climate change and sustainability, the car remains my second biggest contribution, after air travel. Surprisingly, if I biked to work three days a week, I could conceivably save about 20% of my total miles. If I also used public transit for the rest of my Journeys, I'd be getting close to cutting my miles traveled in half, without sacrificing much of anything in terms of the real convenience of a car