I was wondering this week what the various reasons are that members here want to save gas. It seems for some it is a sport in itself that doesn't really go beyond saving gas.
I read a thread about water saving shower heads and only a few people seemed to be interested in this. So not everybody is here to save the environment. Another reason, just as valid I'd say, is saving money. I personally like the green side of it as well as saving some money. But then I will also keep driving home thirsty for another hour because I do not want to get ripped off for a drink at gas station prices and I'll pack stuff to eat when we go on trips with the family instead of spending $10 plus dollars eating trash at a fast food restaurant. So for some people saving gas fits in the whole picture of saving money and/or helping the environment some.
I guess it becomes more of a sport when you start spending more money on gas saving items than you can ever hope to get back in fuel savings. It is as good a hobby as any other I guess.
There are possibly more reasons to be here and be a 'gas saving nut' and I am curious what your reason is.
I'm in the FE game for many reasons including all that McPatrick mentioned in the first post.
But for me the clincher, the one really valuable reason, is to pull us out of Islamic extremist terrorism by forcing the OPEC countries to reinvent themselves. If we stop buying oil from them they will have to figure out something they can contribute to the rest of the world - unless they want to return to being desert nomads. See the articles and books by economist Thomas L. Friedman of the N.Y. Times.
For the most part the OPEC countries don't do any drilling or pumping. They license the rights to that work to primarily Western companies. Then they distribute the money proceeds to their populations via various "support" programs, and are essentially welfare states (some of the OPEC countries more so than others). Their economies are substantially dysfunctional; even people with recent good educations often can't get reasonable jobs due to the poor economies and lack of social infrastructure.
The result is unhappy populations that can be enticed into religeous extremism. We've created the terrorists ourselves by our actions and we won't be able to rid ouselves of them unless we stop supporting the status quo.
It's not exactly the same as depression-era Germany (pre-WWII) but that was another case of a population driven so far into despair that they accepted irrational solutions that normally would be discarded.
Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.
First off let me state that I love nature/the environment. I immerse myself in it as much as possible - Georgia has some fantastic landscape, especially in the northern regions of the state.
That being said, "saving the environment" is near the bottom of my list of reasons for driving FE conscious. Even further below that reason is to hurt "big oil." I'm a full blooded capitalist and am highly conservative, so (FOR ME, AT LEAST), the "mean big oil" argument holds little water. I'm all for drilling in the USA though, but I don't think we'll ever be completely oil independent until the world runs out of it.
I used to race Hondas. It was lots of fun, lots of people do it, and it's highly competitive. The problem is that some of it (the street variety) is highly illegal (and dangerous). I racked up so many tickets in a short amount of time, I'm surprised I still have a license and have never been in jail (knock on wood). Being FE conscious is a way to challenge myself - I don't need another driver in another car. It's still pushing the limits of the car (and driver), but in slightly different (yet amazingly similar) ways. I'm always out to get more distance per tank - that's the prize for me. In the past two years, I have broken the 400, 500, and now 600 miles per tank barriers. I still get to tinker with cars, it's still a challenge, and some fringe benefits are I save a little bit of dough and stay out of trouble.
Drive 25K miles per year - and live too far from my work which is all my fault.
Have better things to spend my money on. Beer is higher on my list.
Want others to be able to travel in the near and distant future. Contrary to the beliefs of many - there is a finite amount of clean fossil fuel out there that can be obtained economically. I could afford $10 a gallon gas but it would hurt.
Believe global warming is really occuring, is mostly caused by human activity, and must stop soon before humanity gets placed on the endangered species list.
I have to agree with the idea of not funding Islamic extremists.
Primarily I have been fascinated with engine efficiency since I was a child. I just did not do too many experiments before. It is a fun technical challenge and I like to tinker with cars. I view this as practice for when gas gets expensive.
I got my Metro to save money but I can never leave a car alone. The car actually managed to help me speed up getting out of debt considerably by saving expenses commuting. So now I am spending more money on getting those last few mpg than I can ever possibly save since I have nothing better to do. Getting better mileage is also a lot more interesting than the horsepower race is now since that has pretty much turned into who can outspend you is going to be faster than you. No matter if he even knows how to change his own oil. Just drop a $35k engine into any car and it will go.