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Wassabi Ass Project is a collection of things, concepts, and ideas. What is hot ( in a good way ) and what is just a knarly big pile of crap.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Knarly: MPG is not a relevant measure of environmental correctness

New Rule:
If you want to talk about your commitment to the environment, and your contribution to the reduction in foreign oil dependence, then tell me how many GALLONS PER WEEK (GPW) you use, not how many MILES PER GALLON your car gets.

GPW is easy to calculate , and anyone who uses more than 8* GPW, regardless of what car they drive, can stop considering themselves to be green.

I'm tired of hearing people tell me they bought a hybrid and have halved their gas consumption. Well how does that shape up to my V8 jeep? It does an average of 2 Gallons / Week!

"Ah ha", you say, "if you had a more efficient vehicle that could be 1 gallon / week", to which I reply, "Get a bike."

See, here's something weird.

Educated people all over the world have woken up to the fact that eating McDonalds is bad for you - so they eat something healthy instead. These same educated people, realizing that using gas is bad for the environment.. well they are still going to EnviroDonalds, they just don't supersize anymore.

The whole hybrid focus is too blinkered. The focus is too narrow, and in fact the same can be said for MOST environmental issues.

I'm big into the environment but I believe in being smart about it. I watch stunned, as people pat themselves on the back for recycling tray loads of 12oz plastic soda and water bottles. Hello! Anybody home?

Just because you put it in the green bin does not make the unnecessary use of plastic any less idiotic. Did you know that Aluminum cans are just about the only thing that your local recycle plant is really happy to see in your bin from both an environmental and monetary perspecitve? If you must buy something, buy cans. Get a 5 gallon water fountain for your home.

Recycling does not negate the damage of consumption and a gallon of gas burned in a hybrid is no less harmful to the environment.

GPW is so easy to calculate that it's imperfections are forgivable. (It does correctly address the oil dependency issue, but emissions are also affected by engine efficiency). If you drive a hybrid and use over 8* GPW then maybe it's time to get out of denial mode. We're not even talking about the potential environmental impact of battery replacement etc. Just some lifestyle changes that show your true colors:

Get the bus
Work from home
Get a job closer to home
Move closer to work
School kids locally
Shop locally
Do without
Ride a bike
Car pool

Do something that really makes a difference - not something that a very well paid advertising agency has told you will make a difference.

*I pulled the benchmark number of 8 GPW out of my left ear hole but it feels about right.. maybe even on the high side. With sensible choices, and a commitment to change, I don't see why an average family can't change their lifestyle to limit their consumption to between 5 and 8 gallons.. and no, across all vehicles my family uses more - but I'm not pimping a Prius.


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