In 2006 transportation related emissions accounted for 29% of total U.S. greenhouse gases, according to the EPA this number continues to increase each year. Transportation related emissions do not only refer to moving people from one place to another; it includes the impact that results from the transportation of our many goods and services. At St. Lawrence we have begun to understand how our students and employees travel to and from the University but we have not considered the impacts of the many items that arrive on our campus daily from distant places. While our greenhouse gas inventory cites transportation with a lower emissions impact than either heating or electricity, it is the third largest single source of greenhouse gasses on our campus.
Considering our employees' daily commutes and the fact that about half of the student body has cars on campus there are significant emissions reductions to be made in developing alternatives to single occupancy vehicle transportation. These options could include public transportation, carpooling, biking, walking and telecommuting. Already St. Lawrence has worked to address biking as an alternative on campus. Our green bikes program allows members of the University community to check out a bike from the library just as they'd check out a book. The University has also taken steps to reduce emissions of our fleet through the addition of hybrid vehicles and initiatives such as the creation of no-mow zones, which allows for significant savings of fuel among other benefits.