Sustainable America Blog


Car sharing hits hyperdrive with an innovative new company called Getaround. Just under a year old, the company has already signed over 10,000 people up for the car sharing service. How does it work? If you own a car, it is sitting idle right now while you read this (or it should be!) What if you could make money on your car when you’re not using it, while helping others who don’t own a car take a weekend road trip, or a big shopping escapade to Costco? That’s what Getaround has been doing for thousands of members.

According to Getaround’s research, on average cars sit idle 92% of the time and each car share takes 10 cars off the road, reducing personal carbon footprints by over 40%. Saving energy is a big part of the mission of Sustainable America. With both energy and food production reaching capacity and population growing, we will need innovative ideas like Getaround to creatively rethink the way we live our daily lives.

To get the game changing idea off the ground, the founders spent time researching the transportation industry, then they developed in house technology to make the idea feasible and even got the insurance industry on board.

When you become a Getaround member, you receive a kit for your car. The kit allows other members to access your car (after you approve them) using their smartphone. All members are screened through the DMV for good driving records and the insurance industry has agreed to insure members of Getaround while driving the rentals.

Car owners in the Getaround community are earning from hundreds to thousands of dollars a month on a car that would otherwise be sitting idle while they work or hang out at home. Rental rates are by the hour and range depending on the car. Capitalizing on the power of social media, there are reviews and photos of the car owners and renters so that everyone involved can feel comfortable and confident in their experience.

With aims to go international, Getaround sees the 1 billion cars on this planet as 1 billion potential ways to make a difference.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.

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