Kindred’s Special: How to Save On Costly Fuels

Everyone these days are complaining about the high cost of energy and want the government to fix it. As a chess player I have the belief that each of us has the brains to figure out ways to save. Lets take a look at our surroundings and actions that take place daily that illustrates the wasteful and thoughtless sights that are too common around the towns, cities, counties, states, and nation.

Did you ever notice, for example, the way in which school buses operate today based largely upon the demands of the parents of school children? What I mean is that a school bus stops at every house rather than stopping at a prearranged bus stop where kids in the community congregate to catch the bus. The problem I have seen is that school buses stop at each house, sit idling while it waits for the kiddies to come out of their house and stroll slowly to the bus, often having to stop and wait for the bus driver to have them pass should they be on the wrong side of the street. Then they continue to idly walk to the bus.

What has happened to our ambitious nature to run and get on the bus as quickly as safely possible?  When I was a kid, I had to walk a quarter mile to the corner of my road to catch the school bus that was not permitted on our road. It would stop and if I was not there on time, it started up and left me. My mom then would kill me so I knew I had better walk the four miles to school. That realization made me be sure to be on time, waiting for the bus. It did not matter whether it was sunny, rainy, snowy or even blizzard conditions. If the school was open, it was each child’s responsibility to be there waiting for the bus.  Once on the bus, the same held true for all my friends. Be there or else!

In those days schools ran on a tight budget. No waste. And the community at large contributed understanding, appreciation for a bus service, and supportive of the most economical manner for children to get to school in a timely fashion. There was no pampering of little children, hugs before getting on bus or mommy who held her kiddies hands. And today many parents greet their kids when the bus comes that holds up the bus even more and costs additional fuel.

School buses today take kids on outtings, sport events, and at a much increased cost which is passed on in the form of taxes.  Of course these activities are for the good of students and I do not question the value of such trips which help to enrich their young lives.

I often hear the complaint that Europeans have to pay much higher prices for fuel than the USA. Yet, did those who suggest we do not pay enough ever realize the some of those European countries are small enough for a car to travel the full length and even into another country whereas in the USA, it takes about 12 hours to go from Rochester, NY say to Chicago by car or to New York City in 5-6 hours? In the former case about 700 miles and to NYC over 300 miles. In either case, a car reaches only a tiny portion of the geographical landscape.

Good ways to save fuel are to form car pools that were popular years ago for workers who can share rides conveniently. However, the insurance companies came along and decided to hike the cost of insurance if a driver had a car of full of passengers. A win, no win situation. God help us!!

Cutting down on the amount of fertilizers and pesticides used on lawns makes mowing less frequently possible. And it is more environmentally safer in watershed safety due to runoff. A good way to kill weeds is to use vinegar full strength in a spot spray trip through the yard. Most likely there is another benefit in that the mower is not stressed as much with shorter grass during mowing.

Plan your shopping day so that you do not waste time or trips which can be conveniently combined. Plan weekly meals so that one trip to the market will take care of family food needs.

To save additional funds, use only one credit card that provides cash awards for points accumulated. Be sure to pay off the bill in full each month or do not use a credit card. The interest rates will kill you and they level those charges in a sneaky way to get the most from you.

If possible, a car should today get at least 30-35 miles average travel per gallon gas. If not, then you should consider trading in that old gas guzzler and buying one that does.

Try this for size. I find that having a south and north window open at night during sleeping cools the interior as breezes often blow out of the southwest which adds to natural ventilation. Also, if you have storm windows on your home, try leaving those on where you do not use screens in planning to open windows for ventilation. Furthermore, if you have blinds or heavy curtains, shutting them to keep out the sunlight will keep the interior cooler. Naturally having an airconditioner or central cooling is ideal but we’re talking energy savings, guys and gals!

For fun, learn to eat meals at home with the family and instead of looking to the outside for pleasure, enjoy evenings at home playing family games, go to the library and collect books that interest your children so they can read them; have a family session where your child can tell you about the book they just read. You would be surprised that this would add to the knowledge and enjoyment of the learning process in their lives and your own.

Well, that’s all folks!!


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