Generally speaking, we Americans are a gluttonous bunch. We eat too much, buy too much crap that we don’t need, generate mountains of waste and use way too much of the world’s energy resources. It was obviously going to take something very drastic to make us change even a few of our wicked, wicked ways.
$4 gasoline prices seemed to do the trick. Suddenly, our 10-year love affair with huge SUVs and pickup trucks was over. Poof! Just like that, the bottom fell out of those markets. Luckily for us, DH had already sold his Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab with the Hemi engine <insert rolling eyeballs here> before gas prices went through the roof.
Even so, the gas crisis hit us hard. Filling up the tank on my ’05 Freestar minivan was over $90! DH’s Accord was over $60. We were forced to make adjustments. We avoided long distance driving as much as we could, combined trips whenever possible, and used the car instead of the minivan if we were all going somewhere together. We also tried to fill up in NJ whenever we were there or close to the border. NJ has some of the cheapest gas in the nation and on average we can save 30-35 cents per gallon over NY pump prices.
Now that gas is downright cheap again, I’ve been wondering if Americans would quickly revert back to their gluttonous, gas-guzzling ways? Or, have we actually learned a valuable lesson?
Heather said something recently in an email that really struck me. She was talking about driving to the CA border for something that wasn’t totally necessary and then remarked how she wouldn’t because that would be “a waste of perfectly cheap gas”. I laughed at her comment but it made me wonder how many other drivers are thinking this way too? If we’re reluctant to waste gas when it’s under $2/gallon then perhaps we really have learned a valuable lesson in a relatively short period of time.