Infographic: Commuting Statistics

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With the recent spike in gas prices, conservation and gas credit cards are among the tools you can use to control costs and carbon emissions.

You may feel you’re forced to choose between being environmentally conscientious and staying within your budget. Well, you’re in luck. When it comes to transportation, you can often have your cake and eat it too. When you reduce your travel-related greenhouse gas emissions, you usually are being thrifty as well. It’s a win-win.

Transportation is the second largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions; the electric power industry is number one. The focus here is transportation because as an individual, it is the sector in which you have the most control.

“We recommend that consumers attack this problem on two fronts: by ‘going green’ and choosing credit cards that offer cash back for gas purchases,” said Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey. “Many people think they must choose between saving money and saving the planet, but our new infographic, The Green and Frugal Consumer, shows you can reduce your gasoline bill and your carbon emissions.”

Motorists can save significant sums by using [gas rewards] cards, said Tran. The rewards cards offer cash back for buying gas, usually ranging from two percent to three percent of the purchase. Because the average family spends about $2,132 a year on gas, this translates into annual savings of $42 to $63. Setting aside a rewards card just for gas can also help you manage your budget and your credit, since these cards often get better cash-back percentages on gasoline than anything else.

Advantages of Public Transportation

  • When you regularly ride the rails (or bus, van, or other mode of public transit) to work every day, you may find you only need one car. Imagine gas, car payments, insurance, and greenhouse gases of one whole vehicle removed from the equation.

  • With just one person taking public transportation to work each day, the whole family reduces their carbon footprint by 8.1%. Compare this with a carbon footprint reduction of 1.6% when you replace light bulbs with compact fluorescents or 1.2% when you add insulation to your attic.

More Tips

  • Carpooling can have low emission benefits similar to that of public transportation. If your city does not have satisfactory public transit offerings, carpooling can go a long way in helping you be green and frugal.

  • Use your credit card with rewards for gasoline purchases each time you fill up. These cards can often give you 2% cash back.

  • See if using your grocery store savings card can save you money when you fill up at a participating gas station.

  • Research the fuel efficiency and cost of buying and owning a hybrid or electric vehicle.

(Research by Kelly; Graphic Design by Estefan)

Kelly Teh is a contributing features writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Kelly Teh at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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