If you drive a 1995 GMC Yukon K1500 four wheel drive -- rated at 12/16 city/highway miles per gallon -- and like the average American travel 12,000 miles a year your "number" would be 16,766 and your price would be $79.95 a year. By contrast, if you drive a 2005 Honda Insight with a manual transmission rated at 61/66 city/highway mpg, your number is a mere 3,698 and your price would be only $29.95 a year.
What are these numbers? The first is the pounds of carbon dioxide your vehicle emits into the atmosphere each year; the "price" represents the amount of money that you would have to invest in clean energy production, or in retiring carbon-emission credits through a market such as the Chicago Climate Exchange, to offset the carbon your vehicle emits. TerraPass simplifies the process.
Terapass, which was created by a group of creative business students at Wharton Business School, is a venture that makes it possible to combat global warming in the same fashion that buying Fair Trade Certified Coffee makes it possible to combat the inequities of globalization: through your purchase decisions. Your brother drives a gas guzzler? A TerraPass can give him (or you) the peace of mind of knowing that for at least a year he'll be a zero-footprint driver.
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