The quickest, simplest way to save on gas

The ‘Gas Guru’ is a popular feature on CBC Radio here in New Brunswick.  A local reporter has figured out the formula our Energy and Utilities Board uses to set weekly gas prices every Thursday morning.  So every Wednesday morning, he comes on the radio with his prediction, and advises listeners whether they should fill up right away or wait a day – and it would seem many drivers follow his advice in an attempt to save money.

But here’s something to think about: over the past year, the average weekly gas price fluctuation has been just under two cents a litre.  That means that, on average, there’s potential to save precisely $1 on a 50 litre fillup.

Nice, but if you have to go out of your way at all to save that dollar – AND if you’re burning extra gas in the process – AND if your time is worth something… well, it doesn’t take a guru to see that you can quickly spend more than a dollar trying to save a dollar.

So here’s a thought: since gas costs more than $1/litre, you can save more by just burning one litre less between fill-ups than you can by chasing cheap gas prices. Burning a litre less can be as simple as combining errands into one trip; skipping drive-throughs; carpooling (even just once); not idling; accelerating and slowing down smoothly; or driving a touch slower.  A bonus: it’s way better for the environment too.

If you’re a fan of the Gas Guru, keep listening – he’s fun and entertaining.  But it’s good to remember that there are easier ways to save a buck than chasing marginally cheaper gas prices; and a litre saved is always better than a dollar saved.

Awaken your inner Climate Hero in 2019

Six months ago, a relatively unknown young Swedish girl took a bold step – and almost overnight she became a global celebrity.

Grieved by our global climate crisis, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg decided to go on strike from school, saying, “What is the point of learning facts when the most important facts given by the finest scientists are ignored by our politicians?”

Soon she was joined by other students – then more, then more.  Then similar strikes started happening on the first Friday of each month at other schools and in other countries.  Last month, more than 20,000 students held strikes in at least 270 cities in over a dozen countries (including Canada).

In November, Greta gave an impactful TEDx Talk in Stockholm (spoiler alert: expect a bit of shame and a lot of motivation); in December, she spoke at the UN’s climate summit in Poland.  The movement she began continues to grow monthly, and the media and politicians are starting to take note.

I’ve always believed each of us has the potential for greatness, and Greta proves that’s true.  She’s also shown you don’t need to write a book or invent a gadget; you just need commitment and focus.  You just need to show up.

So if you’re a student of any age, why not make this your jumping-off point to greatness?  You can find complete info on how to organize or take part in an event here.

And if you’re not into strikes or activism, why not at least call or write your elected leaders to demand action?  Find your federal Member of Parliament’s contact info here.

It’s climate crunch time, and we need more people like Greta (regardless of age).  Why not me, and why not you?

Renewed resolve

January 2, 2019

What’s your sustainability goal for 2019?

When it comes to climate change, 2018 was a pretty tough year.  Hurricanes Florence and Michael (neither caused by climate change, but both intensified by it).  The California wildfires.  A major report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that we will blow past 1.5°C unless global emissions are reduced by half in just 12 years.  A dire US National Climate Assessment report that was quietly released during the US Thanksgiving weekend.

Clearly, we need strong collective action – but individual action too, because each of us can make a much bigger difference than we realize.

So, if New Year’s is a time for resolutions and new beginnings, what’s your sustainability resolution for 2019?  Here are a few ideas:

My 2019 resolution?  That my family will be carbon neutral for our electricity and transportation by 2022.

I’d love to hear your 2019 sustainability resolution (just hit reply) – and I’ll keep you posted on my progress on mine!

Happy – and sustainable – 2019!