Six months ago, we traded in my spouse’s first car (a decade-old Toyota Camry), along with some savings from the sale of my car a few years back, for an extravagant purchase based on ethics: a Toyota Prius. The hybrid gets over 50 miles per gallon and we felt better about the impact of our driving on the environment.
I admit that I was hesitant to drive a premium vehicle, especially thinking of what the monthly payments could be used for charity and missions. But we have to drive, and instead of continuing along the way things were, we decided our ecological ethic required that we put our money where our mouth was.
So, it’s been six months, so here’s the half-year review:
After six months of using the Prius, we’ve got the following stats compared to our old car:
- Miles driven: 9,500 miles (yes, we drive almost 20k a year)
- Money saved on gas: $450 (estimate based on 95% of gas receipts; mileage compared to former 22mpg gas economy of the Camry).
- For reference, Edmunds’ Fuel Estimator estimated we would save $115/month in gas, but this was done when gas was $3.50/gallon, so the numbers are skewed now that gas is cheaper)
- Carbon saved: 3,892 lbs less carbon has been put in the atmosphere (based on TerraPass’s carbon calculator compared to our Camry).
- For reference, weatherstripping and insulating your home saves you about that much per year.
Please note that the numbers are low…that’s because it is the difference between our old car and the Prius. Hybrids alone save 17,000 lbs of CO2 per year and close to $3000 in gas in ideal conditions (which the frigid NE is not an ideal conditions!).
Is it gonna save the whales? No. But it’s a start. And every gas-efficient choice we make makes a difference in aggregate.
Any other readers drive a hybrid? Leave a comment. And if you want to assail this lowly pastor for driving a premium vehicle…well, that’s what the comments are all about.
Off to get arugula from Whole Foods in my Prius while wearing Birkenstocks! LOL.