I'm Glad to be Less-Than-Average

 Image found here.

While fixing dinner yesterday and listening to NPR the commentator stated that with slightly higher gas prices this year the "average American household will spend $305 on gas this month."


Maybe I heard that wrong. But I didn't (click here).

As I've stated many, many times (did I mention many) I am far from car-free, but I am car-lite, sometimes lighter than other times. And in a sentence: I still do own a gas-powered vehicle and sometimes I drive it more than I like. But $305 a month on gas for the average American household, can that be accurate? That's like a minor mortgage payment. It took my teenage son to tell me that $305 in gas at around $3 per gallon is 100 gallons of gas a month...that is a lot of gas. The variable here is "average American household;" what does that mean?

I am in no way bragging because every person's life and needs are different, but at best guess (I don't keep track) I spend between $20-$40 on gas a month.

My only thought (OK it's not my only thought but one of many) is what is going to happen after peak oil. To be honest it scares me a little, not for the price of gas but for many other reasons. At any rate, I am very glad to be way below average.


DanT said…
Joe, you are not alone. The ramifications of peak oil concern me greatly.

Anyone who has spent some time researching the peak oil has to be concerned - especially for their children.

No doubt, cargo bikes will be part of the transition.

Jim said…
Yikes, hearing it in monthly-bill terms really makes the expense stick out. I am "car lite" too, yet often feel I drive more than I need to (especially in winter, thanks to alternate-side street parking rules that provide a daily excuse to drive somewhere, since I have to move the car anyway). But relative to the $305/month figure I realize I am car lite indeed - $40 or $50/month tops.

Transforming our bad habits (as a society) seems like a terribly complicated issue, given how connected the layout of cities and communities and many cultural conventions are to transportation and its costs. Hopefully more and more people will find the benefits in living near where they need to be!
the_big_smile said…

There is not peak oil. Sorry folks, it the oil industrie that need peak oil to make us pay more and more for the oil.
The abiotic theory can be veryfied in the laboratory. The biotic theory has never been veryfied. And now guess for yourself, wich theory will be more likely to be found out in nature.

But it is very important for us, to stop wasting oil on things likes cars with only one person in it or Hummers!
We consume too much oil, as we can see after the oil desaster in the Gulf Of Mexico.
And bicycles are the best way to transport most of the things we need to transport in our everyday life.

The bikes need much less resources to be build, to be powered and to me maintained/repaired, than any will ever need. It produces no exausts (Exept the driver eats to much onions. ;-) ) and so it is one of the best ways, to care for our environment.
Only walking would be better.

I heared, one liter crude oil contains as much energy, a man would have to work for one week for, And than think: How far will an average car go with one liter? My wifes car is a 2000 Toyota Corolla. It runs about 15 kilometers with one litre gas! Isn't that a waste of resources?

When I think of cars and what it costs, to drive one, I often think of Steven King's "Carrie". Think, it was Carrie, the car, that sucked the blood from its owner.
Sarah said…
This seems like a lot. Maybe that is the amount of gas used in the US divided by the number of families. Does it include all the gas used to to transport food, consumer goods etc etc?
Joe said…
Dan, I agree: cargo bike are part of our future...they've make the most sense for short trips.

Dan, I also agree: transforming our habits seems imposable to me. It's easier in the city to be car-lite...but the suburbs are another issue...they were built by and for the automobile.

Stefan, as far as peak oil...to be honest I don't know what to believe.

Sarah, yes that does seem like a lot...as I said it refers to an "average American household," whatever that means (you can click the google link in the post). In my household I am the only one with a car, but some have many cars. I asked someone I know who commutes to work everyday how much she spends on petrol and she told me about $200...which still seems like a lot to me.