Greening up the drive-in meeting

The past week has been rife with all kinds of reports of what hotels, convention centers, airports, and others in the meeting industry are doing to green up (and if I weren't so lazy today, I'd scare up a raft of links for you). But when I saw this item in today's Boston Globe, it seemed like a different approach to the topic of greening meetings. From the article:

    GoLoco.org is part high-tech college ride board and part social calendar, with a dash of environmental conscience. The online service -- which went live yesterday, Earth Day -- brokers trips between friends, neighbors, and strangers, then automatically divvies up the cost, the seats in the car, and the carbon dioxide emissions...

    Travelers set up a profile including languages they speak, the music they like, a short snippet of their voice, and reviews of their driving or conversational skills from past travel companions. They list their close friends and trusted network, then post and search for trips.

    Trips are listed, along with the expected amount of carbon emissions, and the cost of the drive -- calculated in much the way businesses use to reimburse employees for mileage. If everyone agrees to the trip, details such as pick up time are negotiated, and the trip costs are electronically transferred from passengers to the driver...

    A website that simplified ride-sharing could give people headed to conferences, networking events, or client visits an intimate environment to talk with clients or team-build with colleagues.

Not to mention save some money on gas, save a few pounds of gak (to use the technical term) from hitting the atmosphere, and save some bucks on parking, which in cities like Boston can be astronomical. The meeting organizer could include a link on the meeting's home page so people would start thinking about the carpool option. I like it—next time I have to go into Boston for a meeting, I just might give it a try. (Thanks, Lee, for the reminder about this story!)

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