I’ve been driving a hybrid car since January 2004. I didn’t get a hybrid because I was interested in saving gas, which is a good thing since shortly thereafter I started a period of adding serious miles to the car. Weekly 200-mile round trips for eight months followed by an entrepreneurial period (read: driving to visit clients). Hybrids can’t be justified in gas savings, since the prices on these cars spikes whenever the gas prices do; I got mine because it’s got 97% fewer emissions than a gas-only car.
Enter the brilliant wife (she likes it when I say that, mostly because I only do so when I mean it) and her amazing Yule gift, a TerraPass. I was introduced to the concept many years ago by my friend Barb, who has been passing them around at the winter solstice for quite some time. For 2009, the already-reduced carbon footprint of my automobile is being offset still more; Robin (my brilliant wife) converted the energy of her labors into money, and used that to buy a TerraPass. That money will be used to invest in more renewable energy resources, contributing to the likelihood that the next time I have to buy a car it won’t run on fossil fuels at all.
I’m one of many Americans who has been so sucked into our car culture that I’m unable to reduce the amount of driving that I do more than I already have. I’ve moved my income as close to home as I can, I’ve all-but abandoned my friends outside of town except for special occasions, and I walk for local errands whenever it would not be prohibited by needs of cargo room, my failing limbs, or really crappy weather that simply will not take “no” as an answer from my meager protective foul-weather gear.
Incidentally, I have a coupon for TerraPass merchandise that needs to be used by January 31, and I don’t expect to use it. It’s “not valid on carbon offset or gift certificate purchases,” but there may be something else on the site that one of my readers would like 10% off on.