I know I talked about our efforts to make this house and our lifestyle a little more eco-friendly a while ago. Of course, that was BEFORE pregnancy, BEFORE my brain was overtaken by images of teeny feet and pudgy bellies, BEFORE my own belly began to swell to ginormous proportions (though the saleswoman today at Mimi Maternity did tell me "Girl, you look fiiiine for 34 weeks, keep on rockin' it"..LOVE HER). Lately Tim and I have really taken a hard look at our lifestyle, both from a "green" perspective and a financial perspective. There is nothing like losing one income and bringing an extra person into the household to make you rethink a lot of your choices.
Our first change was trading in Tim's BMW 3-series for a Toyota Prius. We loved that BMW with a undying yuppie passion. Tim's always had a thing for BMWs so when he had the chance to buy one two years ago he jumped at it. Unfortunately, the BMW was not a very gas-friendly car. As you all know, gas prices across the country are the highest they have ever been...and imgaine filling a tank with only premium, all the time. Each fill cost us about $60-70, and this is a small sedan style car, not an SUV with a big ass tank. So, $65 every four days or so and we're talking a big waste of money every month. Not to mention the outrageous monthly payments we were making for that car. I can't even tell you the amount because it is embarrassing that we spent that much on a car every month. Changing to the Prius is saving us money both on the monthly payment but also in gas. Now Tim fills his car every TWO WEEKS, rather than every four days. And he can use regular gas which saves us almost $0.50 a gallon and with a smaller tank it's just less gas all around.
The Prius is an obvious money saver, but it's pretty damn cool that we are using hybrid technology at the same time. Watching the Prius' "tech center console screen thing-y"(I'm sure it has an offical sounding name, but I have no clue what it is) I can see the car switching from the gas engine to the electric engine to the battery, using the best source of energy for the type of driving I'm doing. It makes me feel good to know that we're using less gas every time we get in the car.
Buying the Prius also started us thinking about how much we drive everywhere. Even to the grocery store 4 blocks away. To the drugstore that is literally at the end of our block. It's ridiculous. So now we walk a lot more often. We go to the grocery store a few times a week rather than one big buy every couple weeks, and we only buy what we can carry in our re-usable totes. Beginning next week we'll have two farmer's markets within a few blocks of us...one on Tuesdays and one on Saturdays. The beauty of the farmer's market is that we can buy produce and baked goods that were grown locally. This not only saves gas because the transport of the goods is so much shorter, but it also supports our local businesses and farms. And anything we buy will be seasonal to our area. I'm excited to see what these markets have to offer.
These are just a few of our recent changes to our lifestyle. I feel good about what we have accomplished so far, and I am looking forward to what else we can come up with.
Take a look at http://planetgreen.discovery.com to see the new Planet Green channel. It's a completely "green" focused TV channel...green renovations, using less, wasting less, tips and tidbits about being green. Pretty damn cool.