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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Slowly going green...

Today I’m taking another small step to going green. I’m trading in my gas guzzling Cadillac for a thrifty Scion xB. I’m going from 15-18 MPG average to a little over 30 MPG. This was a big step for me in more ways than one. Aside from my MGB, this is the first foreign car that will have owned, since my college days ( I had a Triumph Spitfire for a while back then). I was stuck for many years with having to own either a GM or Ford, because I called upon those to companies when I was selling computers in the Detroit area. One just did not drive up to a GM plant in a foreign car.

Now, it is fairly clear that gas prices are going to stay at or above $3.00 per gallon for some time. It is also clear, especially from the fight that they are waging against higher mileage standards, that the domestic auto makers just don’t get it. They keep claiming that the American public just doesn’t want fuel efficient cars and trucks. Well this American car buyer has had it with under 20 MPG fuel efficiency. I put over 20,000 miles on my cars every years and the cost of fuel is killing me. So, I started looking for the most fuel efficient cars/tucks that I could afford. I add that last part because there are a few American made hybrids that I considered – the Ford escape or Mercury Mariner for example; but they are just too expensive for me right now. Maybe next time.

So, for now, it was a choice of several foreign made very fuel efficient cars. The Scion xB won out for several reasons. It is distinctive in its styling, it is very roomy inside ( I actually think it has about as much passenger leg room front and rear as my Cadillac), it has good space for my signs and stuff and it get 30 MPG city and 35 MPG on the highway – about twice what I have been getting. I’m not sure what “image” I’ll be projecting with this car. The Cadillac had a certain aura of success about it that I’m sure gave comfort to some; but, the Scion will likely give me a certain cachet with a younger audience. I’m not overly into that aspect of cars; but, as a real estate professional, I have to be at least aware that the car that you arrive in can have some impact on the impression that clients might get. Obviously, I risk offending some in the automotive industry locally, but I suspect that will be less than I might imagine.

So, here I go into the land of green. Actually this is step three for me in my fight to reduce my carbon footprint. I replaced my old, energy wasting, but historically correct, windows in my historic home last year. That didn‘t seem to offend anyone, maybe this move won’t either. I also replaced my old hot water heater with a new, high-efficiency unit this year. Wow, there’s no stopping me now.

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