Monday, March 23, 2009

Green planning of the Road Trip

As many of you know, esp. if you have followed this blog long, Jeni and I will be taking a road trip exploring America this summer as my gift to her for getting her Masters in Teaching.

My main objective with Going Green by Accident is to demonstrate that it's possible to live our normal lives and still be responsible residents of Planet Earth. I want this trip to be a crowing example. What is more "American" than a summer vacation, esp. one that involves driving across the country?

As we get closer to the June 13th kick-off to the Great American Road Trip, I have begun to plan and including responsible choices is a big part of those plans. Getting an energy efficient, low emission vehicle is the starting point. I don't own one yet, so I've begun investigating where I can rent one. My local results were less than encouraging. One major chain said that they used to have a whole fleet of Priuses, but when it came time to swap the cars for newer ones, they chose not to return to hybrids. I wonder if their reasoning was motivated by lack of customer interest, cost of hybrids, or a combination of both. I found one company that has one Prius, so that may be the one I drive this summer.

What would be amazing would be for a dealership or auto maker to donate the use of a hybrid, perhaps a new version just hitting the market. We will be driving in almost every kind of driving conditions that Americans drive daily, with the exception of snow. I mean we cross the Rocky Mountains twice in less than 5 days. We'll be driving in big cities, like New Orleans, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, and Chicago, as well as cruising the heartland of America in Kansas and Oklahoma. I think this trip has the makings of a great ad campaign. Come on Ford, this is your chance to get back in touch with the American driver.

Ok, so maybe that last paragraph was a bit of a dream, but you can't blame me.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be looking for more ways to "green" our trip. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments sections. The ones that we implement will be featured in a post and perhaps the best ones can result in a small prize package from our trip.

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