Survey says: TerraPass customers (still) really do care

Written by pete


For the second year running we asked TerraPass customers to tell us a little more about themselves and what else they do to reduce their environmental impact.

The real news here is that little has changed since our first TerraPass customer survey one year ago (for the stats-inclined among you, there was no statistically significant variation): TerraPass customers continue to be a green-minded group who do plenty to help the environment in addition to purchasing offsets. “Indulgence myth still dead” might be an appropriate headline for this post.

Once again we’ve laid out the major points from the survey in a one-page pdf. But I’ll list a few of the highlights here:

* 27% bike commute to work (60 times the national average).
* Of course, not everybody can walk or bike to work. Among the drivers, 19% of TerraPass members own a hybrid car (less than 1% of total US cars are hybrids).
* At home, 73% have installed CFLs.
* A stunning 7% report having installed solar panels (compare that to 0.1% of California homes).

And, appropriately for an election year, the number of you claiming to have contacted a government representative about climate change amazes us — 47%. Here we have further proof that our customers are an active, engaged group that use TerraPass energy-saving products and carbon offsets as part of a broad array of actions for the environment.

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  1. Melissa

    It is good to know that some of us are trying to make a difference. I have been with TerraPass for 3 years now and answered both surveys, and while I was honest then I am happy to say I am now within walking distance from work, saving up to buy a bike, my car now spends 5-6 days a week parked, we have CFLs in all fixtures and it is cool enough that even in our 100degrees+ weather no ac is needed, just a ceiling fan.

  2. James

    I agree, it is great to know that our joint efforts are generating more support for living a reducing carbon-footprint. I have been a member of TerraPass for about 3 years, own a used hybrid auto and minimize my driving, have CFLs everywhere that I can in my apartment, and thankfully don’t have to worry about getting too warm living in San Francisco. I do think we need to look at other options for lighting, for instance, the new ESL bulbs have a lower footprint than the CFLs do, and LEDs are on the way!

  3. Left

    How about some love for us carpoolers! I’ve got a pretty long commute (27 miles each way), but there are 4 of us in the car pool and a 5th is on the way. Together we’ve cut over 42,000 miles of driving from our commutes. Plus on days we don’t drive a couple of us bike to the car pool lot.
    Carpooling has so many benefits we need to show it some love!

  4. Francine

    It’s interesting to me that 19% of TerraPass people drive a hybrid, because this is the %-age of new car buyers in my home area, Marin County, that bought a hybrid in 2007. This is the highest %-age for any county in the country. You can tease about Marin hot tubs and such, but the truth is, we’re pro-planet here. I wonder what the demographic of TerraPass is; could it be 75% Marin County-ites??? Just kidding, but, I do wonder.

  5. Dana

    Before everyone goes and buys hybrids etc. you should check this out. /
    I did a trade in on my Ford Escape (I live in the high mountains of Idaho, before you all get mad at me – but have a TerraPass) for a Hybrid and found it would take more than 9,000 months to make it work out, plus I’d be saving a full .29 cents on gas. Granted it’s a hybrid so better environmentally but there is the cost of shipping, production, etc inherent in buying a new car.

  6. Aaron A.

    Dana, I agree in principle that it takes many years to break even financially on an old-car-for-new-car trade, even if the new car is much more efficient. Since you’ve already paid a significant portion of your current car’s price, a new car (hybrid or otherwise) will usually be much more expensive.
    However, there are certain populations for whom the switch makes good sense. Cab companies, for example, are eagerly switching over to hybrids, because in their case, the savings pile up quickly.
    Also, some people consider other things to be more important than the financial trade-offs. Maybe it’s a personal statement, maybe it’s the desire to lower one’s gross (pre-offset) footprint, maybe they want to support budding technology, could be a lot of things.
    Me myself personally, I wouldn’t sell my current car (a paid-off 2003 Chevy Malibu) for a hybrid; with my current habits, I’d be paying $400 per month to save $20 per month in gas. There are much more effective ways to spend my money. When the time comes to replace this car, however, it will almost certainly be a hybrid, electric, or some other low-emissions vehicle.
    — A.

  7. Jeff Hale

    I appreciate TerraPass conducting this survey and have a question. Did you take any steps to rule-out self-selection of individuals to participate in the survey, the fear being they might be unrepresentative of the TerraPass offset-buying population?

  8. Adam Stein

    Nope. It’s not a scientific survey, and self-selection is definitely an issue. Of course, TerraPass customers are already a self-selected bunch…