Monday, February 20, 2012

Gas mileage musings

I have not had to get gas in almost two months. That is probably the longest I have ever been able to go without filling up. Normally I have to get gas every two weeks, so this change of pace has been incredibly pleasant. For every gallon of gas burned, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. By my math I have prevented at least 840 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions!

So what have I done differently? Plain and simple, I stopped driving so much. I have only driven to the gym or to get groceries, which means I am driving at most 25 miles per week. The main thing I cut out were my 100 mile roundtrip drives home, which was the majority of my driving.

Do I think that everyone can drastically cut the miles they drive? No. But that doesn't mean that people don't have trips they could use alternative transportation for or trips they don't need to take at all. Think about how many times you will drive somewhere that is only 1-2 miles away from your house. What if instead you decided to walk or ride your bike?

Image courtesy of envision it media

I am constantly baffled by how many people will drive to "class" from their houses near campus. Some people will drive less than 1/4 of a mile to campus, and end up parking so far away that they walk just as far as if they had just walked and left the car at home. 

Image courtesy of Rachel Wood 

Why are we so attached to our cars? This week take the time to be aware of where you are driving and challenge yourself to take some of those trips by bike, train, bus, or not at all. Also, don't forget about carpooling places! For more tips on how to save gas, check out this site (warning, the site is sponsored by a rubber manufacturer. Many of their ideas are great, but just keep that in mind). Here as well.

How many miles can you shave off?

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