Record High Gas Prices May Be Good News For the Planet

Across the nation, gas prices continue to climb, surpassing previous records and creeping closer to the $6 mark.  At an average of $4.51 per gallon of unleaded, gas here in the Aloha state is the most expensive in the country.  Residents of the island of Molokai have been paying $5.16 per gallon since last Tuesday, and officials predict that prices may very well reach $6 per gallon by summertime.  While this is certainly not good news for our wallets or the economy, it could be good news for the planet.   A spike in gas prices forces consumers to more consciously consider their gas usage and even seek alternatives.  Although we have little control over the cost of gas, there are ways we can reduce our gas consumption, save some money, and help the planet.

Couple on oceanside bike path

Don’t skip your auto appointments

One of the easiest ways to make the most of a tank of gas is by keeping up with required and recommended maintenance.  In the same way that our bodies function most efficiently when we keep them healthy and get regular check ups to catch any abnormalities, our automobiles function most efficiently when we take proper care of them.   Even something as simple as properly inflated tires can reduce the amount of gas your automobile requires.

Drive as if your Drivers Ed teacher is in the car

Another easy way to make your gas go further is to drive the speed limit, give yourself plenty of space between your car and those in front of you, and remove any unnecessary heavy items from your car.  Driving just five miles over the speed limit, breaking hard, and transporting heavy items guzzles more gas.

Make friends and catch a ride

There’s no better time than now to share expenses and start carpooling, or let someone else do the driving and make use of public transportation.  Not only will you save on gas, but your car will also be one less vehicle contributing to traffic congestion and powerful pollutants that are damaging to the environment.

Get some exercise

When possible, leave your car at home and let your feet or bike take you where you need to go. You can save gas, save the planet, save your money, and burn calories.

Consider going electric

If walking, biking, carpooling and public transportation are not options and you must drive regularly, you might consider making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV).  With a network of EV charging stations already in the works here in Hawaii, free recharging at Better Place stations for a year, and the benefits offered by the “EV Ready Rebate Program”, EVs are quickly becoming a cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative to gas-guzzling automobiles.

We might not have a choice when it comes to the price at the pump.  But we do have choices in the decisions we make about our gas consumption.  So we can sit around and grumble about the escalating gas prices.  Or we can take action and save money, gas, and the planet by making more efficient and earth-friendly choices.