Saturday, April 30, 2011

Does the Cost of Gas Make you Green?

photo used with permission from MorgueFile Free License
If you’re like most of us, the steadily rising cost of the gas you’re putting in your car is making you wonder if it will ever stop going up and wondering what you’ll do if worst case predictions really do come true.

Look around. After replacing the gas cap, people are immediately driving away from the pump. They are jotting in their notebooks, keeping track of how many miles per gallon there vehicle is getting, ever alert that a change would be a warning that something on the car has to be adjusted to get better mileage.

You might do that, too. You might even go a step further. Once you’ve figured out your mileage per gallon of gas, you might go on to calculate how many miles you get for each dollar you spend on gas. No suprises there. At each fill up you’re reminded that you’re getting less miles for that hard earned dollar.

So now we know, and it doesn’t seem to be helping.

Did you ever wonder if those miles that you put on your vehicle every week are smart miles? Do you know how that mileage is used?

Keep a log each time you get into your vehicle. Write down your starting place each time you turn the ignition key along with the mileage. When you get to your destination, log the stops you made along the way, even if it was at the fast food place for your morning cup of coffee.

At the end of the day or week, figure out how many miles you put on your vehicle getting your kids to school or day care. From there, how many miles is it to work? At the end of the day, you probably take the same route, just in reverse.

How many miles are left over? It may surprise you. Try to justify all of the miles by going over your driving log and it should become apparent that a lot of these miles aren’t smart driving miles at all. Multiply the miles that you can shave off of your driving schedule and multiply them by that mile per dollar of gas spent you came up with earlier.

It’s just like finding money, isn’t it? Actually, finding money is exactly what it is. And eliminating those miles every week is also good for the environment.

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