Today at work I won an award for being a “Clean Air Champion” (I got a certificate and a coffee mug). As part of the Clean Air Campaign, I have been logging the days where I do a clean commute. And since I take MARTA every day, then pretty much any time I go to work is a clean commute day (twice actually, since I go to work and then go home). The advantage of logging my commute is they have a monthly drawing where you can win a $25 gift card if you participate. I have won at least 3 times, but nothing in the last year.
So I got an e-mail this week saying to meet in the lobby with the other 25,000 pound champions. By their calculations, I have saved 25,000 pounds of pollution with all of the clean commutes I have logged. I did a similar calculation when I wrote about 10 years of MARTA cards, coming up with 2,000 gallons of gasoline saved in 10 years. Now a gallon of gas only weighs 6.3 pounds, so if all of that turned into pollutants, it would only be 12,600 pounds in 10 years. But I found a government website that says one gallon of gasoline actually produces 20 pounds of carbon dioxide when it burns because every carbon atom in the gasoline is combining with two heavier oxygen atoms from the air. So that means in 10 years I saved 40,000 pounds of CO2. And with the time I rode MARTA before I started collecting cards, and the time since I wrote that blog entry, I am probably up to 16 years or more of clean commutes.
So I really am a Clean Air Champion.