Shaun Chatman bought a green vehicle and thinks you should, too.
In deciding to go green, I started with my car—mainly because I needed a new one. My sad little 1997 gas-guzzler was just really awful for the environment, plus it completely died and made an ugly lawn ornament. In making the switch, I learned several things from eco-cars, and some of the lessons surprised me.
10. Some People Laugh at Stupid Things
It’s true that some people laugh at smart cars. I know this because I used to laugh at people driving along in their shiny new Prius miracles. Now that I drive an eco-car myself, I see it every day. People laugh because green cars are sometimes funny looking.
Lots of them are little and compact, and that makes people giggle. They have preconceived notions about green vehicles as, well, believing that only crunchy hippies drive them, but that isn’t true anymore. If you drive an eco-friendly car and you know that, then who cares what anyone else thinks?
9. Some Green Drivers Are Smug
Both before and after making the switch, I noticed a certain breed of smart-car owner. Some of these folks are smug! They act like they’re doing more than anyone else to save the world.
I applaud the notion because I’m glad to do my part too, but I didn’t invent the electric car. If you’re thinking about switching, but you’re turned off by the odor of all that snooty smugness, never fear. Most eco-car owners are awesome—like me!
8. Forget About What Other People Think
In fact, you can’t worry about what other people think, period. Some friends might judge you and start calling you a “crunchy hippie.” Other friends might judge you and start saying that you’re not nearly as green as they are. So what? People say things like that no matter what you do. I recommend the time-tested “I’m-rubber-you’re-glue” philosophy.
7. Road Trips Are a Lost Art
Eco-cars get great gas mileage, especially when you’re driving long distances. If you have a hybrid, you’ll only have to fill up once or twice. I’m not even kidding. Shortly after getting my new car, I had to drive from Boston to Detroit for the dreaded annual in-law visit, and I only had to fill up once.
It made me realize how much I missed road trips, which I’d avoided due to gas prices. Don’t resist the eco-friendly siren-call because you think your car’s going to run out of power and strand you.
6. Tax Rebates Are Awesome
So, I like getting money. When I had to replace some major appliances, I got environmentally friendly options solely for tax rebates. I mean, I had to get them anyway, right?
And I won’t lie, the tax incentives played a part in my decision when I decided on a greener car too. Although these vehicles are slightly more expensive, you do get your money back. Honestly, they end up paying for themselves.
5. Cheap Insurance Is Equally Awesome
Even more incentives are available when you buy an eco-car. Just compare car insurance companies, and pay close attention to quotes for environmentally friendly cars. The rates are incredible. Because you’re being safer and saving the environment, you actually save money. This means your newer, smarter car pays for itself in yet another way. Winning!
4. Going Green Is Pretty Stylish
Once upon a time in the not-so-distant past, eco-cars were kind of ugly. I mean, you didn’t have a lot of choices; the cars were a little weird-looking, and you were apt to feel a little goofy driving around in one.
Maybe that’s why people still think smart cars are so hilarious. Now, however, practically every major car manufacturer has several green models, and they are gorgeous. I mean, these babies are sleek: you’ll look like a baller—a baller who enjoys saving the environment, at that.
3. Every Little Bit Counts
No matter what you do—whether you start recycling, install a programmable thermostat, or decide to drive a hybrid or electric car—you’re doing your part. You’re reducing your carbon footprint, and that’s important.
You live on Earth, and so do I, and so does your smug, smart-car-owning neighbor. Everyone’s green actions matter. Don’t think that driving a smart car doesn’t make that much of an impact. It’s huge. It’s good for you, good for your wallet, and good for the environment. It counts, I promise.
2. Go Go Green Speed
You might think that if you decide to switch to an eco-friendly car, you’ll end up creeping down the highway. That isn’t the case at all. Green cars are speedy. As with any other vehicle, it all depends on what you buy.
Formula One racing isn’t really an option, but you can still drive like a speed demon. Besides, think about this: do you currently spend a lot of time driving around at 90 mph, taunting the cops? So who cares if you can get from 0-60 in a nanosecond? You’ll drive exactly the way you do now.
1. There Are No Sacrifices
You don’t have to sacrifice anything when you drive an eco-car. You won’t sacrifice your speed, first of all; you’ll still drive just as fast as you like. You won’t sacrifice power either, and your vehicle will still have all the bells and whistles you’ve come to love.
In fact, since eco-friendly technology advances every day, you’ll likely end up with more add-ons and luxuries, and they’re better than you imagined. Don’t keep paying out the nose for your gas-guzzler just because you think green can’t possibly compare.
Making the decision to buy a green car and join the eco-friendly revolution isn’t one you should take lightly; there are lots of things to consider first. Just don’t pass up the opportunity simply because you’re scared of what people will think or because you feel like you’ll miss out.
Image credit: dok1/Flickr