If I walked to work 2 days a week how much energy could I save? I live 5 miles away.



  1. 0 Votes

    Well, if you would otherwise drive to work, you would be saving 40% of however much you expend in getting there when you travel by car (minus the physical energy it would take to walk there yourself, which is negligible exercise). How much you would save depends of how energy efficient your normal mode of transportation. If you drove a car with a 400-HP V-12 engine (or took a helicopter, rocket-car, or hummer to work) you might be able to save a lot of energy. But if you have a car that gets even decent gas mileage you would only be saying 20 miles worth of fuel—and that gives you about a gallon—in savings. It’s hard to measure energy by fuel savings, there is always the problem of how efficiently are you going to be able to convert the energy in the fuel you save to some other form of usable energy? (There’s always some significant loss). According to one set of conversion rates:

    “Barrel of oil equivalent (boe) = approx. 6.1 GJ (5.8 million Btu), equivalent to 1,700 kWh. “Petroleum barrel” is a liquid measure equal to 42 U.S. gallons (35 Imperial gallons or 159 liters); about 7.2 barrels oil are equivalent to one tonne of oil (metric) = 42-45 GJ.”

    You would save 1/42 of 1,700 kWh… (one gallon out of a 42 gallon drum has 1 / 42nd worth of the energy in it) which equals about 40kWh. But the thing is you couldn’t actually generate 40kWh of energy running a gas generator for however long it takes before you run out of your one gallon of fuel. You won’t even get close to that because combustion engines are inefficient!

    In my opinion: the savings you would get that would be the most significant are in the form of the elimination of the release of greenhouse gases (they say 1 pound of CO2 is emitted on average per mile, but surely this varies too) and not wasting a tremendous amount of energy bringing the car back and forth. Why on earth would we ever need 3500 pound vehicles to move people around when we weigh on average not even 1/10th of that!? The numbers are not in favor of car manufacturers—motorcycles are redeemed however—but not before bikes, blades, skates, boards, shoes, and/or sleds!!!

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