If you could reduce pollution, have a healthier planet, and shave more than $800 off the cost of your annual commute, would you? To English professor Michelle Balaev and Classics professor, Mary Pendergraft, the answer was a resounding “Yes!”

Balaev and Pendergraft became the first registered carpool in the university’s history on the Reynolda Campus last fall when they joined forces to make their 62 mile round-trip commute more enjoyable, sustainable, and affordable. In addition to the financial benefits, carpooling reduces fuel consumption, which translates into fewer greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint for the professors. Balaev and Pendergraft cut their combined fuel use by 400 gallons annually.

As an added bonus, any university faculty or staff member who registers a carpool receives a reserved parking space near an academic or administrative building of their choice.

Already have a carpool? To receive your free, reserved space, register your carpool by filling out the carpool application form. Be sure to review the carpool program guidelines.

Worried you’ll need a car while you’re at work? Sign-up for a Zipcar membership and you’ll always have wheels when you want them for off-campus lunch meetings, doctors appointments or anything else that comes up. Family or personal emergency? According to the carpool program guidelines, the university will pay for a cab for you to get where you need to be.

Is your commute less than sustainable? Make it your New Year’s resolution to take alternative transportation like walking, biking, or carpooling.

Looking for more ways to make 2012 your greenest year yet? Consider one (or more) of these sustainable resolutions.