Living in a kibbutz has the makings for a good life. You have no need for money, have your breakfast served like clockwork in the morning, your clothes get washed by someone else, and your kids can play freely unsupervised. Another bonus of belonging to the community of a kibbutz – a socialist model developed in Israel –– is use of the kibbutz car fleet. You don’t own a car in a kibbutz, but sign one out, when you need it.
Taking the kibbutz cooperative model to the urban environment is Car2Go an Israeli company that uses the concept of car sharing (similar to Zipcar in New York and New Jersey) transporting it to Tel Aviv. Offering car rental by the hour, car sharing makes green sense for urbanites, especially those in Tel Aviv who tend to stay in the city most of the week. Some Tel Avivians never really leave, save for the odd Friday afternoon journey to the parent’s house in Ashdod or Ashkelon. Owning a car in Tel Aviv is a liability. There is no parking, and with it being a flat city, it’s much easier to get around by bike, bypassing traffic jams and staying fit at the same time. Yet, every once and awhile, even the most serious urbanite needs a car.
Why is car sharing green, asks my buddy Karen Chernick from Green Prophet:
So car sharing is green because it basically turns occasional car rental into another form of public transportation. If more people used car sharing instead of owning personal cars - a lot fewer cars would be crowding city streets. And if the green incentives aren’t enough, it works out to be much cheaper too.
While different car sharing companies operate differently, with Car2Go you become a member and then get an electronic ID card granting access to their fleet. Before you need some wheels, reserve them online, and then pick up the car at the designated spot. Use it for however long you like, returning it to the same place where you picked it up.
Don’t stop here. See more car and kibbutz stories on TreeHugger:
Solar Powered Kibbutz Musings
Wine Tour On Wheels Through Kibbutzim and Elah Valley
Service My Parking Space Zipcar
Zipcar Launches Fancy New Web Reservation System