Skip to content

Question of the Week: How many errands have you ever combined into one trip?

2008 December 15

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Driving efficiently saves fuel and helps reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.  One tip for driving efficiently is to combine or chain trips so you complete many errands in one outing.

How many errands have you ever combined into one trip?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

66 Responses leave one →
  1. Claudea permalink
    December 19, 2008

    Just today I went to the dry cleaner, grocery store, drug store, post office and chinese resturaunt all in an hour and a half. I love to combine trips. It saves sooooo much time and gas.

  2. Annie permalink
    December 22, 2008

    “EVER”? Wow. For me, virtually always, like breathing! Go get the mail and take trash out on the way and bring “xyz” in from the car, or weed osme flowers, — most trips (even AT home) are some combination of actions.
    I took a time-n-motion class when I was 20. The principles WERE already my own, so I was glad to formalize my inclinations, decided it was really desirable to reduce trips – wherever, by whatever means. Consciously do so – driving, walking, by bike, and definitely even in our house and yard. It becomes Unconscious habit after a while.
    I catch other people and train them “don’t go downstairs/upstairs with one thing/for one purpose. . . . . . check the stuff at top of the steps and take it . . . etc
    52 years later, X an average of 300 days a year going away from home to do errands (NOT counting kid-transport to sitter, or going to work with no errands, or at home base “trips”) .
    52×300=15,600 days when I went somewhere and combined errands. Average of 3 errands combined each time: 3×15,600=46,800. I guess the math is correct.
    Whatever – a lot. Functioning more efficiently/safely/comfortably becomes habitual. DOES save time, gas, human energy, etc. and make things work better.
    TERRI: Congrats on also thinking ahead! Me, too.
    . . . and others have stated lots of good comments, such as “When in doubt .. don’t” — so true.

  3. Sally G permalink
    December 22, 2008

    This is so true! It’s especially frustrating waiting at a light at 1:00 a.m. when there is no other car visible in any direction! I remember back to the days before “right on red”, which has certainly helped prevent useless idling. I’m a big fan of four-way stops (lights or signs), and even the much maligned “circles” or “roundabouts”. Once you learn how to drive them, they do save time, especially in light traffic—and if it’s really crowded, you can go around a second time if necessary to make it to the outside when you need to.

  4. Sally G permalink
    December 22, 2008

    I’m not much in favor of drive-up windows, especially when there are long lines outside and none inside, but they do serve a purpose, especially for those with limited mobility. and as Melanie says, with small children and pets they are also useful. The key is to use them intelligently and not let the car idle when sitting in a long line. Yes, they should be allowed (in areas where zoning permits them), but use is optional and buildings with drive-ups should have enough staffing to handle both indoor and outdoor business. (What burned me up the other day is when I walked to my bank and found a car parked illegally right in front of the door, with many free parking spaces available, and the drive-ups open: how lazy can you get? (And no, the car had no handicapped sticker.) In the spirit of the holiday, I’ll try to be charitable: maybe it was a desperate need to get to a bathroom and vomit.

  5. Sally G permalink
    December 22, 2008

    Thanks for not only doing this, but for educating your kids and their friends. You’re helping all our futures!

  6. Susan permalink
    December 29, 2008

    I have been combining errands on my way to work and on my way home from work, since 1981. i hate to waste my time, money, and energy. I love helping to do my part at keeping the earth healthy. the question is wonderful…..

  7. Nicole permalink
    January 27, 2009

    I wonder how many of the errands are done at drive-up windows. I know a fellow who leaves work, sits in line at the drive-up window on his bank then at his pharmacy.


  8. andres permalink
    April 13, 2009

    We consider weekend time very precious with well planned shopping trips shared with several of her friends. I often make short trips of a couple of miles to obtain small items for repair and maintenance on the weekend although I try to plan ahead and do it while I am in the area on a lunch trip during the week.
    free satellite

  9. Joe w. permalink
    May 2, 2009

    What is cost in gas and maintenance on a car to sart and stop it to buy something on the way home?

  10. AlejandroS permalink
    May 11, 2009

    Watching how you drive can improve your car’s mileage per gallon, cutting global warming pollution and saving you anywhere from $200 to $500 each year. An average 2005 passenger car costs about 31 cents per mile in fuel, maintenance and depreciation to drive. If you share rides and use other means to get to work, you’ll save yourself money, reduce congestion on the roads and cut your global warming pollution. Lots of people do it and have done so for a long time. Also, if you live close enough to work, you can start riding a bike. No gas and you get in better shape. (Win – win.) There’s also public transport, and all of these are cheaper modes of transportation.

  11. Bill George permalink
    November 4, 2010

    Bikes are the exclusive vehicles that are having many of the fascinating facilities and functions that can make the people reached to the desired destinations with greater speeds and style. They are not only the speed icon but also are the style symbol for the youth. These vehicles are categorized in different styles and classes. Here are some of them revealed in brief to make you informed about the types of Bikes and also their utilities. These informations can prove vital for the Bike buying decision for the Motorbike lovers. Glimpse the leading types.

  12. discount hammock permalink
    November 15, 2010

    Amusing post you have

  13. Jordy permalink
    July 14, 2011

    As a father of 5 kids, 3 in their teens, multi tasking has become second nature. I could be out with 3 or 4 drop off’s/pick up combo’s when the wife calls with more stops thrown in to pick up stuff for her. It’s endless.

  14. Russell permalink
    August 24, 2011

    Since I live a ways out of town, I will try and do at least 4 things in one trip.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Bebe Club
  2. Green Living Tips to $ave money, time, & the Environment. | Welcome to

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS