The Best Way to Save Gas and Money...

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 1:10 PM

So, if you are reading this blog you have read a number of entries that address fuel efficiency in a cost effective manner. There are crazy ideas, normal ideas, and ideas that you may never attempt. However, I feel that two of the easiest ways to help the environment, save money, and still be able to go about your regular schedule.

Method 1: Carpool
If you have to run errands, call a friend, neighbor, or co-worker, and ask if they need to go to the same store. I know this may seem strange initially, but you will quickly learn that it is not only helping the environment but you are also making a conscious effort to create a stronger bond within your community. If you have to go to work ask if someone else needs a ride and have them split the cost of gas. If you go to aaa.com you will find ways to calculate the cost of your trip and don't be shy asking your friend/co-worker for the cash, they should understand. Another approach, if you are too shy to ask for cash, is to alternate days on the carpool. If you drive Monday, Wednesday, and Friday one week then they do it the next; if you look over the course of the year you will cut your trips to work in half, from 260 to 130! Think about how good you will feel about yourself and what you are doing for the environment, not to mention the bond that you will create with your friend, neighbor, or co-worker. If you are interested in learning about more people who would like to share a ride you may go to this site, http://www.erideshare.com/, and check your local carpoolers.

Method 2: Ride a Bike
Take a walk out to your garage, move all those boxes of junk out of the way, pull out that semi-rusted 1982 bicycle, take it to the shop for a $50 tune-up, and ride it for all trips less than 2-4 miles. Did you know that the U.S. has the highest bike ownership rate per capita in the world! The caveat is that it also has the lowest bike usage rate in the world... That means the best way to save money on fuel is sitting in most of our garages gathering dust and rust instead of putting money in our pockets... There are a million excuses explaining why you shouldn't ride your bike: it's too hot, it's too cold, it's raining, it's too far, the bike is rusted, how will I carry my stuff, etc... The one fact that is ignored the most is: it's lots of FUN, it saves you money, it's good for your heart, it's great exercise, it's always an adventure... The average cost of owning a car as stated by The New York Times is around $8200 while the average cost of owning a bike is around $400. Therefore, if you are looking to save money that is a significant chunk...

As you may be aware, according to the book "Freakonomics", most people operate by incentives. They may be economic incentives or they may be ecological incentives, but either way you need to find a way to motivate yourself and others into making this effort a regular routine. For example, You may try using aaa.com to calculate the total savings from your trip and putting that amount in a piggy bank so you can do something nice for yourself in the future like take a vacation or buy that new bike that you have always wanted.

Hope you have fun sharing a ride or riding a bike! See you on the road...

Jason Callough

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1 comments

  1. The percentage of gas savings will vary depending on how well the car is tuned up and how good the engine is in the first place.

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