Combine Trips

Lowering your miles traveled by combining trips and staying local is one of the easiest ways to save time, money and emissions.  With a little planning you can combine activities like going shopping and to the gym and save!

Households: 0 completed, 7 committed
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Annual Savings
$0 - $0
Upfront Cost
These are estimates

Energy and water savings

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Therms Natural Gas
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Gallons Gas
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Gallons Water
  • Save time, money and gas
  • Reduce wear and tear on your vehicle by driving less
  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

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For more information, go to Carbon Lighthouse"

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Price: $3/1,000 miles

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The Action
Combine trips and consider staying local for some trips to reduce miles traveled.
Is this action for me?
If you drive, this action is for you!
When and Who?
This action can be done anytime by anyone.
How long will it take?
Quick! It actually saves you travel time.
What is the cost?
No cost and big savings!


  • Save time, money and gas

  • Reduce wear and tear on your vehicle by driving less

  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

The Basics

Combining trips and staying local is one of the easiest ways to reduce your driving miles. With a bit of planning, it is often easy to find ways to combine errands to significantly reduce travel. Also, you may find checking out the corner store or new local restaurant is just as fun as driving farther away. This saves not only on fuel costs, but also on time!


Make a plan
Post a list
Map it
Consider staying local

Plan Out Your Trips

In the US about 57% of all household vehicle miles traveled in 2009 were social and recreational, shopping, and family/personal errands—i.e. the types of trips that can be more easily combined than commutes, vacations, or other trips.  Take a few minutes and think about all the errands you have to do and see if you can combine trips, or combine them with your commute and stop at the shops on your way home.  Make a list of the errands you need to run and see if you can combine them into one trip.  You can also use a GPS or online map to map out the shortest route between your stops.

Another tip - leave your grocery list by the door to make sure you remember what you need so you can avoid multiple trips.  By planning out your errands, you can save yourself time; reduce your fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, all while lowering your carbon emissions.  In addition, when your vehicle’s engine is cold it is less efficient and often uses up to twice as much fuel as when it’s warm and running, combining trips reduces the number of cold starts saving you even more on fuel costs!

Check with Friends and Family

Ask your family and friends if they need anything from the store before you start your errands. This act of kindness will be greatly appreciated and will save them a trip, reducing their carbon emissions.  Post a list of errands by the door or on the fridge so everyone can add to the list and save time!

Stay Local

Another way to reduce your vehicle miles traveled is to consider staying local.  The next time you are thinking of driving over an hour into the city for dinner or a few hours to that new hiking spot you wanted to check out, think about whether there is an interesting destination that is more local.  Gas vehicles are generally the single largest impact we have on carbon emissions.  Until you are able to switch to green electricity and get that electric car, gas powered miles have a serious impact.  Consider making a few of your otherwise longer trips local and check out that new restaurant down the street or take a walk through the neighborhood.  Just a few of these local excursions can actually really help ease your impact as we transition to clean renewable energy!

Walk and Enjoy the Fresh Air

Many errands are very close to home or very close to each other.  If possible, walk or bike to do your errands or park between two errand stops and walk between them instead of moving your car. This will reduce your fuel costs and give you a chance to enjoy the fresh air.

Success Stories

My partner and I are vegetarianrecycle and compost as much as we can, and lease an EV but as renters, we struggled to identify other steps we could take to reduce our environmental footprint. We also know these actions help save a lot of precious resources and emissions so we wanted a way to quantify the environmental benefits of our current actions.

The Fremont Green Challenge has been a great resource to identify renter-friendly actions and track our progress and financial savings. So far, we have reduced 17.7 tons of carbon! Since joining the Fremont Green Challenge, we realized our biggest impact on the environment is in the transportation sector. I grew up on the east coast and my partner’s family lives in India. Flying to visit family and friends not only costs money but bears a huge environmental burden, releasing tons of greenhouse gases. Since we will continue to visit our families, we learned through the Fremont Green Challenge that we can offset the carbon emitted from our air travel. We quantified the amount of emissions our flights from 2017 released and donated to COTAP, a non-profit based in Oakland that counteracts carbon emissions through certified carbon sequestration forestry projects in developing countries. We are excited to keep using the Fremont Green Challenge to reduce our carbon footprints, and we are now working on taking the train more and combining trips. The Fremont Green Challenge platform allows renters like me to learn about easy actions we can take to reduce carbon and help our City reach its climate action goals.