Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Boycotting Gas Won't Make A Difference

In fact, I swear this boycott suggestion has actually raised gas prices today. It's up to $3.50 (I heard it's over $4 in Chicago.) On one talk radio show this morning a limo driver said he watched the prices go up 35 cents in a 3 hour period yesterday. What we don't purchase today we'll purchase tomorrow or Thursday, and the gas companies know this. Remember, we've been spoiled up until now...Europeans have been paying these kind of prices (and higher) for a very long time.

There is only one way to show big oil companies that we're tired of getting the shaft - that is we have to reduce our consumption of gasoline. And that, my friends, won't happen in a day.

Here are some ways to reduce your use of gasoline:
1) Trade in for a smaller vehicle that is more energy efficient.
2) Trade in for a vehicle that uses alternative fuel. (I know where you can get a great rate on an auto loan, too....)
3) Drive less! Stay home and play outside or read a book instead of going out now and then. (Remember, everything you buy had to be shipped to the store in a gas-powered truck!)
4) Walk! It's summer - how about doing some of your errands on foot. Can you walk to the grocery store for milk? Think of all the impulse purchases you won't make if you have to carry stuff home. You'll save money and gas.
5) Ride your bike! Do some of your farther errands on bike - use a backpack or a basket if you have stuff to carry. You'll get some exercise and save gas too.
6) Use public transportation. Believe it or not, we actually do have a public bus in the suburbs. And the train is so much fun to take into the city. I always feel like I have much more freedom being in the city without a car. It's much easier to get around.
7) Carpool. Drive with a friend and have a nice conversation while you're out.

Then there are real, long term strategies that will really burn the oil companies if we all do these things:

1) Move closer to work. What if you could walk or bike there?
2) Work from home...there's nothing better than working at home, if you can.
3) Live where you shop. I love my house because it's located within walking distance to just about everything I need.

What if we all could reduce from the two-car household to a one-car household? What would you do with that car payment? The insurance? The gas money? The repair money?

I must say that this boycott that has circulated the web has really inspired some hope, though. I'd like to thank the person or group who made the suggestion about the boycott, they at least started a conversation about this topic, which needs to be discussed. There's really nothing we can't do in our country...maybe we really could become less dependent on oil. It won't happen in a day, but it could happen.

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