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Go Green with GPS

Updated on June 22, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.


This lens is about one sure way we can all do to help the environment. This past week, 2 things happened that gave me the inspiration for this lens. First, I read an article in TIME magazine (April 9th issue) The Global Warming Survival Guide - 51 things You Can Do to Make a Difference. Second, I was on vacation in Seattle visiting my brother-in-law and they just got a new portable GPS system for their car. How are these 2 things related? As I was reading the 51 things, one item (#45) talks about making right turns when you drive. The theory being that you will get there faster with less delay waiting to make the left turn and thereby saving gas and reduce CO2 emissions. I thought that was a stupid idea. When I started using the GPS to guide my travels in Seattle, I discover how easy and great this little device is. It takes the worry and the mistakes out of any road trip.

Instead of #45, I would recommend Go Green with GPS. A new slogan I am coining right now. If everyone would get a GPS (approx. $500), it will save time, gas, frustration and in the process benefit our environment. How great is that?

- Sept. 2007

Benefits of GPS

Here are some scenerios of the benefits of a GPS.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System.

  1. Scenerio 1 - You are visiting a new city and are driving around new and unfamiliar roads. You want to see the sights but do not know what is the best way to get there. You check the map provided by the hotel and it is too small to make out. If you have the GPS, you just punch in the location or the point of interest and it will guide you verbally to where you want to go. It will estimate the distance and the time of arrival.
  2. Scenerio 2 - A recent tragic story that could have been easily avoided if he had a GPS device in his car.

    Driver dies of frostbite

  3. Scenerio 3 - You are on your way to a meeting and the traffic ahead is stopped. Either an accident or road construction is causing the temporary congestion. Since you don't know the area that well, you decide to stay and wait it out. However, if you had a GPS device in your car, you could opt to drive off the first exit and let the GPS re-calculate a different path around the congested roadway.

Recommend Brand and Model

I recommend the Garmin Nuvi 350. It is the top rated GPS personal system. It is portable and it works great.

What are the benefits?

A cost benefit analysis -

If every car in the US is equiped with a GPS device, how much will it cost?

What kind of tangible savings will result? In terms of time, fuel and frustration...

Assume a 5% savings of time on a road trip, that will translate into a 5% increase in gas mileage. On average, a 20 MPG car will become in effect a 21 MPG car. Multiplied by 100 Million or so cars, that is a lot of gasoline.

That is what I mean by GO GREEN with GPS.

A typical GPS unit will cost $500, averaged over a 5 year period, that's a cost of $100 per car per year.

If an average driver drives 15,000 miles per year and he owns a 20 MPG vehicle, he would be using 750 gallons of gas per year. If he uses a GPS device with an average saving of 5%, he would only use 714 gallons. At a price of $3 per gallon, he would save $108.

So, he would have paid for the GPS with the savings and in the process help reduce CO2 emissions by 5%. It is a WIN - WIN situation.

GGG campaign - GO GREEN with GPS

This ideas is so simple and natural that I'm surprised more people have not picked up on this!!!

I would like to start a new campaign called GGG.

I would start by getting in touch with all US auto manufacturers. It would be a great advertising campaign. A free GPS device with every car sold! Help the Environment and GGG! It can help kick start a sluggish US car market.

Responses from Auto manufacturers...

I am posting here any responses that I received from the Companies I sent with the GGG campaign.

  • Ford Motor Company - (4/16/2007)


    Thank you for contacting the Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center regarding your interest to share your marketing ideas.

    With surprising frequency, a suggestion offered by someone not connected with our company is the same as, or very similar to, an idea developed by the people we employ for that purpose.

    Ford's sales, advertising, marketing and business personnel are constantly working on ideas and programs to market our products effectively and to hold and increase our good will. Many of these ideas are not used immediately, but are put aside for possible use in the future.

    In an effort to avoid any misunderstanding concerning the source of material used by us, we have found it best to adopt the policy of only considering or reviewing suggestions related to marketing, advertising, product names, business practices, sales promotions, or vehicle designs from persons employed or retained by us.

    If you have any other inquiries, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to address them for you.



    Customer Relationship Center

    Ford Motor Company


  • It's a sad commentary on our current environment when my suggestion of a GGG campaign would be construed as an attempt to take credit for something that I have no intention of profiting from.
  • (Response from Chrysler 04/18/2007)


    Dear Jack :

    Thank you for contacting the Chrysler Group Customer Assistance Center.

    As a matter of policy, the Chrysler Group does not review or forward any

    outside suggestions for evaluation including (but not exclusively) such

    items as advertising or sales promotional ideas or programs, slogans,

    jingles, vehicle name proposals, vehicle styling art or sketches,

    product features, components, accessories, propulsion technologies, or

    any other unsolicited ideas or inventions.

    We appreciate the time and effort you took to contact us about your

    idea, however, we must rely on our worldwide employees, affiliate

    suppliers, and creative agencies to devise and develop innovations.

    Thank you again for your thoughtful support of the Chrysler Group.



    Senior Staff Representative

    Chrysler Group Customer Assistance Center


© 2016 Jack Lee

Reader Feedback

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    • GPSGUY profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lense Jack. Yet another great benefit of GPS!

    • tplus profile image


      11 years ago

      Congratulations! You are #3 at Who Has the Most Lenses?! I've picked this lens to be featured alongside your name. Come check out your competition!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Great Lens! Good Idea.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      11 years ago from Yorktown NY

      drp, you must not have the right model. The Garmin Nuvi 330 is very good. It is voice command and will warn you approx. .2 miles before any turns. It will estimate you trip distance and approx. arrival time. I have never got lost using this device.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I must say that there have been many times that I passed my exit as I looked at my GPS to tell me where to go. Oh well I still use it and for the most part it does get me around in strange cities.

    • one SquidAddict profile image

      one SquidAddict 

      11 years ago

      Welcome to the Group!

      Save the Planet

    • InvoluntaryGypsy profile image


      11 years ago

      Cool idea. I always thought GPS was a good idea for safety purposes, but never considered it as an aid to the environment.

      Squidoo site about Earth Day and conservation


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