It's been over a month since the Gulf oil rig explosion started spewing oil into the ocean, and I've been trying to figure out how to reduce my addiction to oil. I can't get a hybrid just yet, so how else could I make a positive impact?
I've designated one day a week to not drive my car. I live in the suburbs, where public transportation is scarce, and walking or biking would almost be suicide, so that is one way I can curb my need for gas. (However, once the metro is extended further west, it'll be easier to go to DC using that method of public transportation. Can't wait!)
Another way is to reduce the distance I drive my car by condensing my shopping trips/errands. So when I have to go to the grocery store, gas station, post office, and Target, I try to do it all in one trip. If I forget something, I just wait until the next day. Or better yet, I wait til I have to take my son or daughter to their activities and do it while I'm already out.
I can also save some gas by walking if I'm going less than a mile. For instance, when I know I'm going to a strip mall that consists of several stores I need to shop at, I park in a central location and go from one store to the other. This gives me a little exercise and sometimes even saves me time by not having to look for yet another parking spot.
A few more gas saving tips: if you're going to buy a new or used car, why not look for one that's fuel efficient or even a hybrid.
Buy local products. The less distance that these products are shipped from one place to the next, the less fuel is being used and demand for oil is lightened somewhat. (And you're supporting the local economy while you're at it!).
One more tip: stop idling your car! It takes more gas to idle for a minute than it does to stop and start your car. I'm not saying to turn off the car at every red light, but try it at the bank, or at the drive-thru, or when picking up your child at the daycare line. It will make a difference.
There are days that I feel like a taxi for my kids, shuttling them from one activity to the next. However, if I can reduce my time in the car, it'll make me happy and my wallet even happier. We can all make a difference and reduce our demand for oil by making just a few changes.
Save gas, save $$$, save some wildlife too. :)