I want to live in a country that supports green construction and healthy living. I want to see more people building green homes and driving efficient vehicles. I want to see the health and strength of my community grow. That is going to take action, not just desire.
Today, the price of oil went up by more than $2 per barrel at its peak. I remember when oil prices were approaching $60 and I thought that was high. Today the price landed at a new high of $88.20 per barrel before retreating a little. As I watched the financial report about this upward trend, I was saddened by the reporter’s comments about the average American consumer and our impact on the entire planet.
According to the reporter, Americans have not made any significant adjustments in their lifestyles as a result of a devastating war, rising fuel costs, a sagging economy, and weakening consumer confidence. What does this mean? To me it means the pain is not big enough for most Americans yet which ultimately means things will get worse before they get better. I am not sure our planet can handle things getting worse.
I am worried about the state of the world. How can we continue to waste water, perhaps our most valuable asset, in huge simulated rain showers? How can we continue to make and buy vehicles that get such bad fuel economy. Check out the table below for details of what I mean by bad fuel economy. When averaged together, the total fuel economy for all the top cars in their class averages out at 31 city/35 highway. That is not acceptable. We have technology in action today that gives cars fuel economies of 60/51 (Toyota Prius). Why then are we as a country or as a planet not putting more attention to creating such vehicles. We may all know the answer already.
Finally, how can we continue to build leaky, inefficient houses at such an alarming rate? There is no excuse for this type of waste. We have the ability to build efficient, healthy homes. We can build efficient vehicles. We can lower our footprint on the planet. Are you willing to take steps towards that? If not you, then who? I can tell you that I make those steps everyday. The simple things like turning off lights after I leave a room, or using efficient CF or LED light bulbs.
How about building a super efficient straw bale home? I drive a car that gets 40+ mpg and runs on biodiesel. All of these things have a huge impact on the World. Consider scale for just a moment. When United Airlines was in a financial bind a few years ago, they stopped serving their first class passengers drinks with two olives. The management opted to offer only one olive in those drinks. That saved the company over $1 million that fiscal year! All from removing one olive in a first class passenger’s drink.
The small acts, when added together, can and will change the world. Please step up with me and make a change. I don’ think we have much time left to waste thinking about it. It is time to act.
EPA Class Vehicle
Two-Seater Cars Mazda MX-5 (manual)
25 city/30 hwy
Mini-compact Cars Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible
22 city/30 hwy
Subcompact Cars Toyota Yaris (manual)
34 city/40 hwy
Compact Cars Honda Civic Hybrid
49 city/51 hwy
Midsize Cars Toyota Prius (hybrid)
60 city/51 hwy
Large Cars Hyundai Sonata (manual)
24 city/34 hwy
Small Station Wagons Honda Fit
33 city/38 hwy
Midsize Station Wagons Ford Focus Wagon (manual)
27 city/37 hwy
Sport-Utility Vehicles Ford Escape Hybrid FWD
36 city/31 hwy
Minivans Dodge Caravan 2WD
20 city/26 hwy
Pickup Trucks (tie) Ford Ranger 2WD (manual)
Mazda B2300 (manual)
24 city/29 hwy
Van (Cargo & Passenger) Chevrolet Express 2WD, and others
15 city/20 hwy
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency