Saturday, May 19, 2007

Please Drive Responsibly

Memorial Day is right around the corner, and this 3-day weekend brings with it the promise of summer: long, lazy days at the beach, vacations, road trips, and an average national gas price of $3.10 a gallon. Gulp, Guzzle - that means my fairly fuel-efficient 2003 Toyota Corolla cost exactly $34.58 to fill up this week - ouch.

Given the high price of gas this summer, and the well-established negative effects that carbon emissions have on the environment, it seems to be obvious that we should drive as little as possible, and when we must drive, we should operate fuel-efficient vehicles. According to, these are the 10 most fuel-efficient vehicles produced in 2006:

  1. Honda Insight— 60/66
  2. Toyota Prius— 60/51
  3. Honda Civic Hybrid — 49/51
  4. Volkswagen Golf TDI — 37/44
    Volkswagen New Beetle TDI — 37/44
  5. Volkswagen Jetta TDI — 36/41
  6. Toyota Corolla— 32/41
  7. Scion xA — 32/37
  8. Hyundai Accent— 32/35
    Kia Rio — 32/35
  9. Honda Civic— 30/40
  10. Pontiac Vibe — 30/36
    Toyota Matrix — 30/36
If a new car is not in the budget right now, you can also ensure that your vehicle gets the best fuel-efficiency possible by taking simple steps such as making sure your air filter is changed on a regular basis, keeping your tires properly inflated, using your air conditioner sparingly, and avoiding idling. For a full list of tips on how to achieve optimal fuel-efficiency, check out

Lastly, you can utilize the power of your dollar by buying your gas from the most responsible of the oil companies and boycotting the rest. According to Fortune, Exxon-Mobil made over $36 billion in profits in 2005, the largest profit of any company in the world. They achieved this number one status due to the hefty increase in gasoline prices. In addition, according to The Sierra Club, their environmental record places them at the "bottom of the barrel" when ranked with seven other major U.S. oil companies. You can sign a petition at urging Exxon-Mobil to invest some of their record-breaking profits in renewable energy. The two highest ranking oil companies on Sierra Club's list are BP and Sunoco. You can read the complete environmental lowdown on all eight companies at