Welcome to our first Make-A-Difference Friday, the day we talk about something big that you can do to make a difference. Today, Casi Callaway, Executive Director of Mobile Baykeeper, talks about her decision to buy a hybrid car when the time came to replace their family vehicle.
My favorite “Aha!” moment actually came when a group of girl friends came over for Bunco and saw my home recycling station. My friend Mary grabbed my arm and said, “You actually live what you say.” It never occurred to me that I lived my life any differently than anyone else. I guess I should have known, but getting involved in environmental protection at age 19 actually changed my behavior. Make-a-Difference Month is about encouraging everyone – YOU – to look at your life and pick up and do something small, medium or large to make a difference, change something in your life.
When my husband and I went to buy a new car in March 2008, with a four-month-old baby boy, an SUV was not remotely on the radar. We knew we had to start at Toyota and at least try the Prius. I knew it cost more money up front to buy the latest environmentally-friendly car and I was a little worried that maintenance would be an issue, but mostly I knew it wasn’t a question – it was simply which hybrid.
I have to be honest and say the 2007 Prius felt a little too much like the tiny car I drove in high school. The Camry Hybrid made me feel like a grown up driving essentially a regular sedan. Driving the Hybrid made me sure I was driving a car that truly made a difference in the world. I purchase gas every two to three weeks and even with the present outrageous prices, my 12-gallon tank hasn’t exceeded $50.
A fun tidbit I have to admit — I LOVE that my car is so quiet I can sneak up on folks.
Now that we’re in 2012, the options are vast! There are SUVs, large very fancy sedans, or smaller Leafs, grown up Priuses and the all-electric Volt. If you’re shopping for a car, spend a little time researching, spend a little more up front and save a over the long term both in gas and for the environment.
Make a BIG Difference with this big choice, because it’s the best choice for our future.
Here are a few leads for researching a Hybrid Car:
From EPA’s Website — Fuel Economy Guide
The Fuel Economy Guide is an annual publication containing the fuel economy estimates for all cars and light trucks. The guide includes much more information than appears on the window sticker alone. It includes information about alternative fueled vehicles, the range of fuel economy for different classes of vehicles, a list of fuel economy leaders, and tips for improving fuel economy. The guide is published jointly by the Department of Energy and EPA. Additionally, EPA publishes lists of the vehicle models with the highest and lowest fuel economy estimates every year. Below are the lists for the 2012 model year Fuel Economy Guide.
- Fuel Economy Leaders: 2012 Model Year
- Lowest Fuel Economy Models: 2012 Model Year
- Highest Fuel Economy by Vehicle Class: 2012 Model Year
- Lowest Fuel Economy by Vehicle Class: 2012 Model Year
We know that the decision to purchase a hybrid car is a big one. Share your thoughts, concerns, or your reasons for going with a hybrid in comments below. Or, if you already drive a hybrid or electric car, share your story with us! Why do you drive a hybrid and why do you like it?
Together we can make a difference!