Taking it Easy: Life in the Slow Lane

Since gas prices rose a week or two ago, I have tried to be more conscious of my gas usage. I know I should have been focused on this since I first learned to drive, but freedom of transportation obscured my environmental and economical awareness, and speeding with the windows down in my black Jeep was too liberating to think long about gas prices and fossil fuel emissions. The very generous deal my parents struck with me didn’t help things either (they pay for my gas as long as I pay my insurance). So knowing the gas tab wasn’t on me surely made it easy to push the pedal to the metal without worry.
But since gas in my city has risen by about 30 cents, I have started realizing just how big of an effect it has on my parent’s budget. A guy in my economics class argued, saying “If gas rises ten cents a gallon, will it really stop you from driving to work or school everyday? It’s not a big deal at all.” But when gas rises 30 cents (and even higher in the future), when you have a gas guzzling war tank for a car, and when you have a 30-40 minute commute to school twice a day, YES it matters.
So a week ago when I went to fill up my tank and it costed $50 (and today nearly $60) as opposed to the $42-ish it had been, I made a vow to drive slower, accelerate more steadily, and brake more smoothly. As a result, I made a quarter tank last me an entire 5-day school week, including nightly trips to pick up my father from work. Meaning, in theory, a whole tank could last me an entire month if I did no driving on the weekend. And if it means driving on access roads rather than highways to do this, then so be it. HECK YEAH I want a tank of gas to last me a month!
There are a myriad of benefits from doing this- my parents have been so generous with me and it makes me feel good that I’m doing my part to lessen their financial burden. And though people may constantly tail me and pass me, I find myself feeling happier and less stressed when driving slower. I feel more like the responsible, safe driver I was when I first began driving on my own, and I get more time to myself to think and to sing along to my iPod. Also, you let off fewer harmful pollutants into the air when you burn less gas.
Saving money, helping the environment, and reducing personal stress- love it!

This entry was published on April 6, 2011 at 9:34 AM. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Taking it Easy: Life in the Slow Lane

  1. that’s good your getting conscious and taking some steps. it does feel good. my brother said a while ago and it really struck me that most moral choices are between the right thing and the easy thing. when you start taking responsibility for your own part in things part of that is learning that you can do more and you can keep making positive changes and get better and better. the last part that i really liked was an air of gratitude, we have been blessed and remembering that is part of the process. nice job, keep it up.

  2. I appreciate this comment deeply. Thanks so much for taking the time to read!

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