Outside the mart, they continued their grumbling. “Tell you what,” Pat Re’Ahtic continued, “that Vladimir Putin ticks me off. He bullies those poor folks in Ukraine, and wreaks havoc with our fuel prices. I’d like to kick him right in the…”
“Hey, that’s it,” Les Gettum jumped in. “Let’s do just that. We’ll kick Putin in the… gas! We Americans wouldn’t miss Russian oil one bit if we all just used a little less fuel. And it’s not that hard to do. With less demand, prices would moderate.
Pat and Les reminded each other of some of the familiar ways each one of us can pare down our fuel use:
- Group vehicle errands to eliminate 2-3 weekly trips.
- If possible, carpool or work remotely as much as possible.
- Break out the bike and the walking shoes.
- Be mindful of that thermostat – a bit cooler when heating and a bit warmer in A/C season.
- Remember the 10 sec. idling guide - if sitting more than 10 sec. turn off your engine.
As they talked, the folks across the street began mowing and trimming their yard. “Oh man,” said Pat, “we haven’t even thought about all those noisy small gas engines most of us use. Did you know that each typical small gas engine creates about as much pollution as a modern car? Yup, even though we use our lawnmowers way less than our cars, they foul the air about the same because of all the pollution controls required on vehicles. Small gas engines have almost none of those.”
“Wow!” Les exclaimed. “And now-a-days you can get really cool electric mowers, trimmers, chainsaws, outboards – you name it. Looks like when it’s time to replace any of this stuff, electric is the way to go.”
“Actually, we could get by with a lot fewer (or smaller versions) of these small gas gizmos if we left more natural areas and native plantings in our yards. The birds and critters would appreciate that too,” Pat suggested.
“Give Putin a kick, save money and reduce pollution,” Les smiled, “makes a lot of sense because after all, this the only home we’ll ever know; it’s where we’re all forever… Earthbound.”