Our world is still mostly run on dinosaurs. Most of our energy comes in the form of coal and oil, the result of millions of years of heat and pressure applied to all the organic mass of the age of the great lizards. This is particularly true for transportation. The Rocky Mountain Institute calculates that 73% if all oil usage in the United States is dedicated to transportation, or 13 million barrels of oil a day.
We may not getting to work on a triceratops, but our cars are powered by what’s left of them.
October is Energy Action Month, an opportunity for citizens to think about the sources and impacts of their energy choices and to take small measures to reduce their energy consumption. So, before you drive that dinosaur-powered sedan to work, consider some of these options:
- Cut your energy consumption and reclaim time in your day by taking transit or carpooling. You’ll not only burn less oil, but by letting someone else do the driving you can take time to relax, read a book, listen to music, or catch up on the news.
- Reconsider the short drive to the store for that one missing item. Often, shopping trips are easily within biking or even walking distance, meaning you can save energy and burn calories at the same time.
- Don’t underestimate the power of planning. Organize your shopping, commute, and errand trips as much as possible to trip-chain. Take miles off your day, car, and gas bill by combining multiple trips into one.
- Dead dinosaurs can get expensive. Shaving miles off your drive not only saves you money at the pump, it can also save money on vehicle maintenance and prolong the life of your car. You might even qualify for reduced auto insurance rates, particularly if you are driving less than 7,500 miles a year.
This Energy Action Month, leave your dino-powered car in the driveway a few days and consider your transportation alternatives.