A flower on my gas pedal (Day 262)…

Of all the changes I’ve made so far, the one I have the least regrets about is selling my car. However, there are always occasions when four wheels are essential — like when I need to pick someone up from the airport or transport something huge and bulky back to my apartment — so in these cases, I most often rent a Zipcar.

Unfortunately, like most people, I have a few bad driving habits. I’ll try to dodge traffic by shooting up side streets and back alleys; I’ll pull out and around someone turning left instead of just waiting for them to go; I’ll fiddle with the radio and drink my coffee while consulting a map and trying to steer all at once; I’m not above giving someone the finger if they piss me off; and I almost always end up going over the speed limit.

OK, so that’s more than a few. Anyway, I’ve resolved to change my ways in the name of green whenever I rent a Zipcar because the last thing I need is to get into an accident and have them give me the boot. Also, especially when it comes to the speed, I’m going to make sure I stay light on the gas pedal and accelerate slowly, then coast towards a traffic light if I see that it’s red — this will use less fuel, which translates into cleaner air.

If you haven’t already seen this cute video, There’s a Flower in My Pedal, check it out here. It’s a very soothing stop-motion kind of work by a local filmmaker, and I think it nicely encapsulates my new approach to driving. From now on, at least metaphorically speaking, there’ll be a flower on my gas pedal, reminding me to take it easy and stop to smell the roses.

3 Responses to A flower on my gas pedal (Day 262)…

  1. Malva says:

    Really funny you posted this today. I was thinking of suggesting you obey the speed limit when you do occasionally drive a car.

    I drove Ottawa to Montreal and back today, following the speed limit. I was afraid I’d get rear ended going 100km/h on the 417. I did accelerate a bit over the speed limit when there was construction and I didn’t want to be too annoying to the drivers following me in the only lane (other was closed).

    However, I was thinking that no one could possibly know I was going so slowly to save on oil and my little environmental gesture was going totally unnoticed. All the cars who passed me probably thought I was an old lady until they actually looked in. So I think I need a sign or bumper sticker to explain it. Something like “Slow down! Oil is not renewable.”

  2. dinsky says:

    I’m not sure if this will help you out, but I’ve recently come across a web hosting company which is both inexpensive, AND run completely on wind energy!

    For more info: http://www.hostpapa.com

    Maybe one of your green changes could be switching to a web hosting company like this one once your contract runs out?

  3. emily says:

    That part about the speed limit is really on-target. I drive a Prius and we can REALLY see how our consumption shoots up when we venture above 65 mph (uuhhh. 110 kmh?). The coasting to a red light makes a huge difference, too. I lent my car to a friend for a week when his died. He accelates down a block until he HAS to brake for the light. My mileage went way down. 😦

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