It’s not a fact I’m particularly thrilled about, but we’re commuters. We drive a lot getting to and from our day jobs.
Though we’re in the process of sorting out whether moving to a more central location is in the cards for us, the reality is that we currently use up a lot of gas sitting in Salt Lake City rush hour. Unfortunately, our city has some of the worst air in the nation, especially during the winter and while we claim to care about our environment, we frequently do a poor job cutting back on our own careless consumption and pollution. We’ve taken up carpooling, but even that doesn’t feel like enough.
In a related and sort of sad turn of events, the car that I’ve been driving since I was a high schooler has been sputtering along for years now. The well loved vehicle has squeaked through the state inspections year after year but driving an ancient car over the long distances we travel everyday has become impractical and repairs expensive. We wanted to sell it while it still had a smidgen of value left.
Here in Utah, the state subsidizes clean energy vehicles to encourage lower emissions. Natural gas sells for roughly $1.50 a gallon. We estimate that driving a CNG car reduces our emissions by 33% compared with the car we’d been driving and should reduce our overall petroleum consumption by 90% (source). Obviously CNG isn’t a perfect solution (ugh, fracking) to our transportation problem (walking or cycling would be infinitely better!) but by reducing our vehicular emissions and carpooling to work every day, at least we’ve made a little headway.
All this culminated in a visit to a local dealer specializing in these cars where we purchased a 2001 Honda GX with 20,000 miles on it and put my beloved red Volvo on the market. The CNG tank takes up most of the trunk space, but you can still fit a body back there, so we’re all good.
Here’s to a new year of lower emissions!