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smaridge01 08-05-2010 09:52 PM

#1 Mod: Right Foot Reprogramming: Spread The Gospel
First, I apologize if this doesn't seem like the right place for this thread. It seemed like the best place to me.

I'm no conservation saint, I'm no hypermiler, and I'm no expert on Eco-Modding, but I know this: we don't all need to be any of those things to make a difference. I recently did some research for my workplace environmental committee, and learned something astonishing: over 70% of the oil consumed in this country is used in transportation, and something like 45% of the oil consumed in this country is used for gasoline.

That has recently dovetailed with more learnings from websites like Eco-Modder: it's EASY to get a 10% improvement in fuel economy just by implementing simple, easy, risk-free changes in driving behavior. OMG, if everyone just tried a LITTLE bit, we could cut our oil usage by 10%... that's huge!

I know that anyone reading this on this website pretty much already knows this. But it seems to me like that concept doesn't get much 'air time' out in the non-EM world. I learned fast that people don't want to hear about how my Prius gets 50mpg, they think it's just for people who are willing to plug it in every night, or for people who are willing to flip switches between battery and ICE and risk getting stranded. It seems like I do more good just trying to get people to realize that they can save gas, and MONEY, in the car they drive right now if they just pay more attention to how they drive, and that with just a little focus, they can make a difference.

Does anyone else find this? Am I missing some giant, successful conversion mission going on out there? If I am, please tell me where to volunteer. If I'm not, then I say: Spread the gospel - ReProgram Thy Right Foot!

Weather Spotter 08-05-2010 10:05 PM

me too, all the people I talk to seem surprised that "nut behind the wheel" makes such a huge impact on mileage.

What did it for my dad was a new car he got that had a MPG read out built into the dash, he found that feedback alone changed his driving by 15% or more. I found the same thing with my scangague, the feedback is key. I make it fun to try to get XX.X or better on this tank.

Just the simple things make a big impact, coasting to a turn (or stop) helps me by 3-5%. I live out in the county where there is little traffic to bother and the roads are spaced a mile apart (I can coast about 3/4 of that coming to a total stop or .5 mile for a turn).

keep up the good work on right foot modding!

Clev 08-06-2010 12:49 AM

This was posted today on a FARK thread about GM. The poster here was referring to the Volt:

"I like the concept of car that can, with no changes in lifestyle, take 2/3 or more of the money I give to people who hate this country and put it back in my pocket."

This is why I've changed my driving habits. I'm not in a position where I can change the number of miles I drive, so the least I can do is make every gallon go as far as possible, and keep that money in my pocket, rather than in the pockets of people that will use it against me. (That goes for terrorists and BP alike.)

Olympiadis 08-06-2010 10:18 AM

The idea has had lots of air-time in the past, and generally speaking, people just don't care.
Our society cares about Lindsey Lohan, social interaction (clubbing), sports, giant shiny rims, and American Idol.

The attitudes will change a little as the economy gets worse, but I wouldn't count on a dramatic change in people.

With the economic down-turn, many small businesses in my area have had to close down. In contrast, the Rent-n-Roll (a store that rents out giant shiny rims) is still in business. Yep, some of the taxes I pay are getting converted into 32" rims on old Impalas. That's just reality.

The situation seems wrong to me, but honestly I don't care for the concept of trying to control other people or forcing "enlightenment" on them. I think they, or society in general, should be free to fail as they wish. I find enough challenge just trying to manage my own affairs.

Some people are happy with outstanding efficiency in their lives. Other people are happy in their rush to failure. Let them all be happy. Any time you try to force what you think is "good" on people, it creates even more problems and backfires. I prefer to see positive incentives, not negative ones. You can show people the facts, but there is a point where you have to walk away.

smaridge01 08-06-2010 10:39 AM

Good points all, Olympiadis
Thanks for those good points. I understand that point of view, and I see it most days as I coast up to a RED light. This morning as I was just 5 or 6 car lengths from a 'very' red light, and still coasting to it, the woman behind me just couldn't stand it anymore and started waving her hand in the air with that "FOR GOD'S SAKE MOVE IT" attitude. I waved her off and then we came to a stop and waited at the same light for the next two minutes.

I saddens me greatly that people just cannot get it, and that they can't see how much better things could be with very little sacrifice on their part. Hell, with NO sacrifice on their part.

I keep trying to think up the best wording for a sticker on my car that would express myself to them...

"Don't rush me, I'm trying to save the planet!"

"Slow down, it's NOT going to kill you!"

"Slow down, reclaim our energy independence."

Etc., etc.

gone-ot 08-06-2010 10:52 AM all sorta reminds me of:

A) the impossible task of "...preaching to a deaf & blind choir..."

B) politicians who "...say one thing, but do another..."

Olympiadis 08-06-2010 12:08 PM

I don't like bumper stickers like that.
After all, it's kind of hard to preach "save the planet" while you're driving a car.

No matter how good you think you're doing, someone could always inspect into your business and find something wrong, or ways that you're inefficient. I don't want that, or wish it on anyone. You just do what you can do.

If necessary carry a bottle full of antidepressants and a loaded pistol with you.

Clev 08-06-2010 12:50 PM

It's gotten worse as fuel has gotten cheaper, too. When gas was topping $4.00 a gallon, traffic was going 55-60 mph. Now that it's back under $3.00, people are doing 75 and 80, and pissed that I'm doing 57 in the right lane while there's four completely empty lanes to my left.

I gotta get out of California.

comptiger5000 08-06-2010 09:58 PM

I agree. It kills me every time I see a soccer mom in a suburban doing 80+ on the highway, probably getting 10 - 12 mpg. For me to get that in the Jeep, I'd have to be doing well over 90. At 55 - 60, it will break 20. 60 - 65 gets 19 - 20, 70 gets about 17-18, 75 is down to about 15-16. And it keeps dropping from there.

smaridge01 08-06-2010 10:54 PM

Thanks for all the good feedback... I'll get my head around this somehow. I just can't help wanting to try to get people to understand. But the more grills I see in the rear view mirror, so close I can count the dragonflies, the less I believe there is any hope.

I was thinking about introducing the idea of an MPG contest at work, where the winners would be decided by % over EPA, like here on EcoModder. But then I thought they would just turn it into some sort of exercise in why one shouldn't breath on account of the liability involved in case you blow a germ on someone.

It's good to have this place to come and be with like-minded peeps though!

"Counting dragonflies"

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