Gas-and-Semolian-Saving Tips in a World Gone Mad!

May 14, 2008

Scroll to the middle of the article for tips! 


It’s a pity that the prevailing political sensibility in Washington is such that there has been no clarion call, from on high, for more prudent everyday use of available oil resources.

Among other things suggestive of government taking the lead in our development of an energy culture for the new American century, we’d get really swell slogan buttons to wear! We’d get snazzy patches to sew onto our book bags and jackets, and stickers for our cars, notebooks and guitar cases! We’d see people with preternaturally beautiful teeth doing 30-second spots after every soap opera and news hour on tv, and these people would be girding us ever more securely for the task ahead!

Too, I imagine there would be all kinds of small-business incentives, and tons of the other practical goodies that accompany a top-down effort to reshape the way citizens handle some aspect of American life.

Our national mission to conserve would be the subject of diner, hair salon, and water-cooler discussions from sea to shining sea. All of us would be itching to outdo each other in rolling up those sleeves and throwing ourselves into the mix!

…Well, as it happens, we have indeed gotten that clarion call, however unexpected the source. We got that call not from Washington, but at the local gas pump directly in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, in the summer of 2005. Our answer is long overdue.

Difficult as it is to face, we know what is needed; the question is when we will summon the resolve to do it. Together. To-ge-ther. Todos juntos. To suggest that our future is at stake is no exaggeration.

Here are some concrete strategies to get us started from right where we now stand.

And remember, if it means that much—we can make our own slogan buttons, too.

Some of these are more practical than others, depending on your health, location, and current lifestyle (which of course, is subject to change once you get into the swing of paring down and doubling up!)



1.Walk wherever you can!
In the words of the inimitable RuPaul, “Work that body!” Don’t climb into the car for a quart of milk at a shop that’s two doors down!

2. Bike wherever you can!
Who says Americans can’t do bikes? Good for you, good for your car, good for the earth!

3. Take public transport whenever you can!

4. Errands: Take care of everything possible by phone and online before tooling around town!

5. Shopping: Consider one or two regular trips per week for all you need.

Use the phone to inquire about sales, specials, and available items instead of hunting for bargains while on the meter (ka-CHING!!!!!!)!

6. Have a definite (even written!) plan before firing up that engine.
Arrange for as much as possible to be done in one trip!

7. Find out if they deliver!
Better to use their gas than yours, if possible!

8. Start out with plenty of time before hopping into the car!
That way you’ll be able to drive at the lowest acceptable speed, saving gas all the way!

9.  Avoid rush hour whenever possible!
Be creative when considering the possibilities here. Maybe you can cut out at least one rush-hour drive entirely—thereby reducing all those gasoline-sapping starts, stops, and idling periods in traffic!

10. Travel light!
Clear out all junk from the interior of your vehicle and from the trunk to eliminate excess weight. (I’m dreading this one even as I type.) That goes for unused roof racks and other clunky, detachable doohickies as well!


All right, now it looks like we’re ready to roll!

Check back on Friday for more

Gas-and-Semolian-Saving Tips in a World Gone Mad!!!!!!