Thursday, June 12, 2008

Turn off your $@%# car

Gasoline prices are jumping 30 cents today to $4.21 a gallon, and people are jumping too.

My co-worker came in with the news - she's signed up for a text message update on gas prices - and, being currently in a single-income household, I went to go fill up my tank.

I did find a station relatively close to my office that was still under $4 a gallon. The problem is that everyone else seized the same opportunity to get out of the office. Lines were starting to snake around the building, and cars scooted back and forth as people jockeyed for the "next" pump.

Here's the irony: In racing to get a relatively cheaper gas price, you're wasting gas money.
Turn off your $@%# car! Idling engines waste more gas than turning them off and back on again. If that's not reason enough, you release less fumes into the air - particularly important in the summer months, when we struggle with Ozone Action Days in our city. And, it's always worse on the air quality to fill your gas tanks up in mid-day, when temperatures are higher.

So here's my plea: Exhibit a little patience today, or any day you see the gas prices rise. Turn off your engine and wait a minute. And hold off on using drive-throughs and other gasoline wasters. A little common sense can make a big difference.


Alexandra V. said...

I meant to post this awhile ago, when you asked if we were seeing any signs of people changing their driving habits. No, nobody seems to be driving less, but I am seeing a *lot* more cars out of gas on the side of the road.

We're not driving at all these days. The car died and it's not worth repairing. What were you saying about how easy it is to be green when broke?

Robbie said...

Hi Alexandra, I never thought about that, but I suppose it's true. I see a lot more "abandoned," not moving cars that are obviously in need of repair even in my neighborhood.

I don't necessarily know that it's "easier" to be green, but that it forces you to analyze all of your behaviors. I can tell you I'm far more cognizant of the glass of milk that is half-drunk and left on the kitchen table, or the temperature I have the A/C set to, or even whether we leave a ceiling fan on in a room when there's no one who'll be in it.

I have always been about making small steps that will accumulate into something bigger. I think tougher financial times will just help people focus on the little things, rather than whether to cough up enough for a Prius or "greenovate" their home.