People seem willing to switch from Styrofoam to reusable coffee cups and take groceries home in cloth bags rather than plastic, says Timothy Baker of Greenopolis. Then why do employees who are concerned with the environment and sustainability and want to reduce their carbon footprints so unwilling to carpool, an eco-friendly practice that saves on money—and stress?
The major argument that Americans don't want to give up their freedom has been addressed with carpool programs that allow riders to work flexible hours and guaranteed rides home in emergencies (especially important to parents of younger children). And the poor economy and higher gas prices seem good incentives to the practice.
Baker has some theories on the continued reluctance to carpool:
- People don't want to give up control of the car radio (“I'm, a little bit country; you're a little bit Rock ‘n Roll”)
- They don't want to give up what may the only peaceful, “alone time” they have.
- They aren't that crazy about interacting with their co-workers outside of work hours.
- They just don't like their co-workers.
- They have no interest in becoming better acquainted with anyone.
“Do such reasons justify one's decision not to carpool?” asks Baker. “I can't say for sure, but it does make you think.”
Got any carpool horror sotories to share? Why don't you carpool? Let us know here. If we get enough good responses, we'll include them in a future column.