Friday, June 6, 2008

Do you always need your SUV?

With the average barrel of oil climbing $10.00 today to a high of $139.00+ and a recent Goldman Sachs report claiming that the US might see $7.00/gallon of gasoline within the next twelve months, you have to wonder if Al Gore's hiding in some basement somewhere, in charge of some organization not unlike CHAOS, forcing the prices up so that America's forced to find new ways to move from place to place.

Such a busying activity would certainly explain why he wasn't present to quell the craziness that leading up to the recent de facto nomination of Barack Obama.

Regardless of such imaginings what's real is that with gas prices at a place where Americans aren't willing to pay, people have begun looking around for something other than the SUV or even the standard sedan to get them from place to place. Here are some tips I've heard thus far that'll keep your carbon footprint smaller and keep your checkbook a little fatter.

(1) Lend the kids the Luxury car or the SUV
The idea here is that the drive to work is longer than the drive to school so take the long trip in the smaller, more fuel efficient car, and let your high-schoolers bling it out during the week from now until the end of school

(2) Coordinate and consolidate trips-- there's no reason to pull out of the driveway twice-- make sure that before you get home you've picked up the dry cleaning, the groceries and take care of any other chores you need to take care of before pulling in for the evening.

(3) Travel light.
You gotta pick-up with some extra gear in it? Get rid of it. Large items like farm or automotive equipment might be handy or even necessary for your business from time to time but that stuff literally weighs tons, and while your suspension can do the work fine, it's gonna need more juice do do it, so lighten the load.

(4) Rent.
Trade in your pick up or SUV and get a smaller car. Rent yourself a larger automobile for long hauls and other activities that need it. Or better yet, empty your truck of all your personable belongings and put an ad on craigslist or your local paper-- let people pay you for your torque.

(5) Seasonal ride.
Some people really need an SUV in the winter. If you live in Co. Or Ut., a hybrid's just not gonna cut it when the champagne powder begins to dump in foot by glorious foot in the late fall and all the way through to the spring. So put that gas-guzzling truck on cinder blocks in the garage during the off season and save yourself a few bucks.

(6) Carpool.
It seems like it's simple but everyone knows it's not. Carpooling's trouble. The coordination's a pain, especially between households but if you can pull it off, more power to you.

(7) If you can, telecommute. If there's no need to leave home, then why spend the $$$ on gasoline.

These suggestions are among the extreme, to be sure, but the make a lot of sense. Take a look at your lifestyle and see if they work for you. Or track down Mr. Gore in his underground lair and sell the gas he's been hoarding.

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