How Do *You* Cut Your Gasoline Consumption?

College student one tank of gas for summer photo

One Tank Controversy
Yesterday, I wrote about a college student's plan to use only one tank of gasoline this summer. The post generated a lot of comments, so instead of replying directly, I've decided to write this follow up post.

I probably should have made it clearer that I thought FOX's sensationalistic coverage was ridiculous ("surviving"?!). She didn't do anything we're not constantly talking about here on TreeHugger (walk, bike, take public transit, carpool, telecommute, live close to the things you need, hypermile, etc). The way I saw the story, it was a nice 'light' inspirational anecdote: "Girl concerned about global warming decides to cut down her gasoline consumption." I wish more people would do it, and I'd rather see that on TV than Britney.

Some things that commenters said were along the lines of:

  • In my days, we walked in the snow uphill both ways, why is she complaining?
  • Many people in cities don't have cars and never drive, and she bums rides off other people, etc.

Now if this were a competition, I don't think she would win anything. But since it's not a competition, our attitude should be to encourage steps in the right direction and offer advice to further improve.

The fact is, she has a car. It's a good thing that she voluntarily decided to use it a lot less. Some of her tactics aren't very effective, like asking other people for rides (just displacing emissions), but a lot of what she's doing is good, and that's more than a lot of people even in urban areas (cities are full of cars, no?). It could influence how she views transportation for the rest of her life, what she teaches her kids, tells her friends, etc.

We all started somewhere, which brings me to...

A Question for You
I'm curious about what readers of TreeHugger are doing to reduce their fossil fuel consumption. I've already asked about it a few years ago, but I think now's time for a new discussion. What's your story? When did you convert to a low fossil energy lifestyle? What are the areas where you could still improve? Do you live somewhere where it's easy/hard? Any tips to share? Is your family/friends following your lead?

Please share your story in the comments below. Thanks.

How Do *You* Cut Your Gasoline Consumption?
I probably should

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