the TAO of CHANGE

a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Sadly, I’ve been driving more over the past 6 weeks – you know, the leg thing – I’ll be back on my bike soon, but in the meantime, each time I walk out to the parking lot, I look at the Prius and the Bio-Beetle and wonder which one I should take. (I also remember to be grateful for the fact that I’m lucky enough to have the choice.)

As a member of Piedmont Biofuels, I’m a supporter of local fuel production, mostly from used oils, so I’ve got that issue out of the way. But it’s been cold enough here to mean our B100 had to be mixed to a B80, so am I still in the carbon emmissions “black” with the Bug? Umbra’s recent column on Grist was really helpful since she, coincindentally, chose to compare the carbon footprint of a Prius and a used Diesel VW Beetle here. It looks like the Biodiesel still comes out on top, but….

Except for one 30 mile drive to Raleigh each week, I am usually driving only about 3 miles each way for my other work and activities (which is why I can easily ride my bike). Since most of the emissions are released in the first minutes of a car warming up, am I still best to skip the Prius?

Ok, am I nitpicking? I could be sounding like one of those extremists. Really, I’m not. If I was, I would be jumping on the bus instead of driving more during my recovery. But, man, the bus still requires a mile walk to and from the stop with lots of bags to carry and well, this limp is making me nuts right now. See, I’m darn human and not so happy about it.

That was a bit of a tangent. The real news is that bio-diesel is becoming more available, more popular and more local. Consider your driving options AFTER you consider driving less. And if you’re into the numbers of both cost and emissions, it can be pretty interesting. Here’s another post on the matter here.

Happy Friday. Happy Winter. Stay warm, Stay green as you can. Tao

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