Recently, after a minor fender bender, I put my car into a body. I chose not to have a rental; thinking I would spend time at home doing things around the house and save gas.
After spending three and a half days at home: cooking, eating, sleeping, watching Animal Planet, the news, movies, working on my lack of lawn, going through and getting rid of ‘stuff’, I called my sister, a few friends, wrote two posts, installed Photoshop CS3 (anyone know a good beginners class?), and visited Steve and Marsha (a hike away) for some icy blended drink and talk about retirement life. Yes, it’s been a relatively easy first week of retirement.
Staying home was not difficult. However, by Thursday I wanted and needed to get out of the house. I called my insurance to arrange for a rental and treated myself and Pieper (my companion and Golden Retriever) to a hike and swim. The trip to where we hike and swim is about a 20 minute drive and a 30 minute hike. The temperature was a whopping 91 degrees. When you are over a mile high…well, we were cooking. Unfortunately, Pieper is the only one allowed to swim in the reservoir; I’m left panting on the shore.
After the hike and swim, my normal routine, in an effort to coordinate trips and conserve gas, is to stop at the market on the way home. I’ll find some shade and park; leave the windows half way down in my Blazer, and Pieper being damp is fine while I pick up a few items at the grocery.
The rental car (a 2007 Ford Focus), had huge windows all around, letting far too much sun into the car. The car would hardly cool down with the air condition on maximum! No way was I going to leave Pieper in this car. I passed the market, did not collect groceries and went directly home.
As I think about my efforts to conserve; I got to thinking about the vehicle I drive. It’s an ‘oxymoron’. I’m embarrassed to be seen driving a gas guzzling SUV! How can I justify my vehicle choice? How can I find real solutions and answers to my ‘gas woes’ and the ever increasing price of everything? What can I do? What can each of us do?
Here are 11 things I thought of; please add to the list. Take action on as many as you can. I intend to do the same!
- more employers could establish the ‘four day work week’.
- re-establish ‘Blue Laws’ (close business on Sunday).
- extend public transportation hours, frequency and numbers.
- establish and coordinate practical routes for errands.
- cook and eat at home.
- plan entertainment and activities that can be enjoyed at home
- vacation at home (look inside your own town and state)
- build a community (get to know your neighbor).
- Buy locally grown food.
- Buy United States products.