Guilt-ridden or Pride in What YOU Drive?

Guilt-ridden or Pride in What YOU Drive?

Are you zipping by me on the freeway in your Prius? Kudos for getting over 40 mpg. Perhaps you opted to buy an electric vehicle instead of a hybrid. Fabulous!

I have some questions for the people driving gas-guzzlers:

  • Have you looked into purchasing a different car that’s more fuel-efficient?
  • Is your car running perfectly?
  • What’s your motivation for considering a change in your auto?

Hybrids offer statusGreen products

Research shows that there are very few cars available that actually have gas mileage over 30 mph. If you desire 37-112 mpg, you will have to purchase a hybrid. Many are $20,000 – $40,000 and they’re too new to buy used. Some luxury hybrids are over $100,000. Yes, driving a Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus BEV, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Scion IQ or Toyota Prius v earns you big status points…and you get even more if you drive a Fisker Karma, Porsche Panamera S Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid, or BMW ActiveHybrid 7.

Don’t be fooled

I’m certain you look at SUVs with distaste. In this day and age, how could anyone drive one? If you must judge…it’s time to base those judgments on fact, not fiction.

Some hybrids only boast mpgs in the low 20′s. Just because a car is a hybrid, doesn’t mean the gas mileage is optimal. If you’re only doing city driving, then hybrids make good sense. However, if most of your driving is on the freeway, it may not be the optimal choice!

The U.S . Department of Energy offers a robust website to help you find the best and most fuel-efficient car for your needs.

Responsible consumption

With regard to sustainability, there are many considerations when opting to purchase a new car (or any new product):

Q: What’s wrong with your current car?

A: Up to you to decide

Q: What happens to the auto you’re replacing?

A: Landfill or new driver

Q: Are there parts of the new car that aren’t recyclable or harmful to the environment?

A: Battery, among others

Q: What’s the environmental impact of the supply chain?

A: Manufacturing takes place all over the world and parts are transported. Then, the car is transported to you.

Q: If purchasing an electric or hybrid car, where does the electricity come from to charge it?

A: Normal electricity channels that use oil and water to produce the energy.

Q: Is the new car more fuel-efficient than your current car?

A: Maybe, maybe not.

Q: Would it be a good idea to buy a used car?

A: If it meets your needs, saves money and helps the environment.

Right time to make a change

This is the question…a question we all must decide for ourselves.

Personally, I want to support auto companies producing more fuel-efficient options. I’d like to encourage more research and development of sustainable transportation for everyone. I believe in a free market economy, my purchases speak volumes.

I believe in a free market economy: my purchases speaks volumes. However, I’m in a bit of a crunch. The car I’d like to buy is twice the price of my current car’s value. We’re talking $20,000 extra for me to buy a hybrid that suits my family’s needs. Also, our family buys used cars, jewelry and furniture. To get a hybrid, I’d have to purchase a new item which is more costly and not as sustainable. Lastly, the hybrids that I’m interested in purchasing only provide 2-4 more mpgs per gallon than what I drive now. For me, the time isn’t right.

If you decide to keep your car

  • Check your oil and use the proper grade when replenishing.
  • Get a tuneup.
  • Keep those tires inflated.
  • Bike or walk when your destination is less than two miles.
  • Take the Ecological Footprint Quiz to see where you can improve in other areas.
  • Buy carbon offsets through TerraPass.

"We want to do what’s right, but every day we contribute to what’s wrong by doing what we must – driving our cars, working for large corporations, buying food grown with poisons, sending our kids to inadequate schools, watching stupid, violent TV programs to numb out."

— Vicki Robin

In closing, what we drive is only one part of our impact on our planet and our impact on each other. Be a leader by challenging your own assumptions and habits. See what you can do daily to improve life for future generations on our ONLY PLANET! Thanks!

 

PHOTO CREDITS: iStock Photo

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