Monday, November 15, 2010

US Gas consumption

I went to do some errands today. As usual we try to combine several things into one trip. This trip included the Post Office, Bank, Supermarket and a couple more stops. At the Bank I went to the drive-thru and shut off my engine while I conducted the business - it usually takes about 5 minutes. My vehicle does about 26 miles per gallon which translates to about 4 ounces of gas per minute while idling. So I saved 4 oz times 5 minutes or 20 oz of gas. There are 3 lanes at my bank and the other two lanes had, you guessed it, two SUV's in them with the engines running. They use about 8 oz of gas per minute - so about 40 oz of gas each for the 5 minute wait. As there are undoubtedly millions of visits to banks per day, can you imagine the savings?
At the Supermarket a lady had driven her SUV to the front of the shop to load her groceries, and yes, you guessed it again, it sat there running while she loaded it. You are not supposed to leave a vehicle running when not in it, but why leave it running anyway? It just sends more dollars to our enemies in the Middle East. (None of the people so far looked even vaguely Middle Eastern).
Next stop the 7-11 to pick up a bag of ice, where of course, you guessed it, was a large Pick Up Truck, sitting there running, burning 8 Oz of gas per minute, while the owner picked up her cigarettes and coffee. (Again what is the point in leaving it running?) She was still in there talking, after I had conducted my business, paid and left.
On the way home I was behind a school bus. Mothers were waiting for their little ones with their cars, engines running, they were waiting outside of the cars (SUV's) as it was not cold. Several of them had driven up their driveways to get their kids!! None of those driveways were more than 100 yards long. So gas was wasted in driving up to the road, and in leaving them running while waiting for the bus. seems to me the walk would be good for the mother and the child.
The point here is that it would be no problem at all for the US to save 10% of the gas we use. And as we send one BILLION dollars per DAY abroad to pay for for our gas, much of it to terrorist countries that use it to attack us, we could help our balance of payments considerably. (That's more than a third of a TRILLION dollars a year!)

Just a thought.

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