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Thursday, April 19, 2012

A new car?

I don't really consider myself an environmentalist.  I recycle paper and cans when I can, I refill the same plastic bottle with filtered water and bought my motorcycle to save money on gas - but to also reduce my carbon footprint a bit.  I care about and for the environment.
Currently my household consists only of the lovely Susan and myself.  Yet somehow we manage to own three vehicles including the Burgie.  Living in Florida allows me to ride nearly every day, and I currently ride the Burgie back and forth to work and on short jaunts.  We keep one of the cars for pleasure and use the other for the route we run two days out of the week.  In other words, when we go to the beach or out on the town we take the larger, more comfortable Jeep.  For my second job I use the much more fuel efficient Hyundai.

The idea of selling one or better yet both of our cars and going with something like a flex-fuel or a hybrid vehicle has recently entered the discussions around the house. The questions before us are "Does it make sense to do so?" and "How would this change our lives?"  We own all of our vehicles outright and the logic of owning three of them just doesn't add up.
Sadly, in the state of Florida flex-fuel is not available...and do to my adopted stated being backward in so many's not likely to be available anytime soon.  We would more likely buy a hybrid vehicle, although right now I have more questions than I do answers.

Changing your lifestyle is never easy, going from two to one car would mean that I would have to ride in questionable weather more, which is something I try not to do currently.  It means that we would have to actually plan our day around the other persons schedule in case they need the car for something.
For me it should not really be that difficult.  Years ago I lived in the city of Pittsburgh and my wife Teri (now ex-wife) and I only had a single car.  I rode the bus back and forth to work, it took an hour compared to the 30 minutes commuting by car took; but it was my time to read, sleep, or just sit and think.  I can honestly say I miss commuting by times it was its own entertainment.    Everything that I needed - bank, supermarket, post office and library - were a simple bus trip away.  Today, I hop on the Burgman and go because frankly it's to far to walk and their are no buses is Florida (see I told you it was a backward state).

Is this better than taking the car for these brief jaunts?
There is a small but growing movement to live without a car.  To grow your own food and to simply try to be less dependent on the big box stores.  Well I certainly agree and understand the reasoning behind the so called "Car-less" or Car-free movement, it's not always possible.  Programs like this tend to work better in compact urban environments and in forward looking cities.  Sadly many lack the political will to be forward looking and put funds into public transportation and other alternative means of transportation.  In the end though, whatever small steps we can make to help save the planet matter, because when you get right down to it - we are all in this together.

1 comment:

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