Last week, Senator Obama called on American drivers to properly inflate their tires as one of many ways we can cut our energy bills and our carbon footprints simultaneously. Although this simple call to action was caught up in political silliness (including a cameo by Paris Hilton!), the idea of working our way out of our energy and climate change challenges is exactly the right one.
Dell just announced the sale of its new Studio Hybrid PC that uses 70% less electricity than a standard computer. When I was in China last month, government officials there told me that their average computer is five years old and that they will be replacing millions of state computers in the next few years – – not because of outdated systems, but to save energy. That sounds like an opportunity for Dell and any other company smart enough to realize that energy efficiency translates into profits.
In today’s New York Times, even oil giant Exxon is running an ad that quantifies the benefits to fuel economy and the environment by more efficient driving, including properly inflated tires. That add also reminds us to empty the trunk – – most of us carry stuff in the trunk that we rarely use. Those added pounds make the engine work harder and burn more fuel, so lightening the load will also lighten the fuel bill every month.
Last month at FL Governor Charlie Crist’s climate summit, CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the only person who can lower your energy bills is YOU. He pointed out that offshore oil drilling or investigating oil speculators won’t change the price of anything soon (or ever), but driving the speed limit, inflating your tires, installing compact fluorescents, or taking other energy efficiency measures with your home, office, of car will deliver immediate and significant results.
I think that most of us are ready to DO something, instead of just hoping that politicians have a quick fix for our energy and environmental challenges. Maybe a tire gauge is as good a place to start as any – – and maybe we can use some of that hot air from the campaign trail in our tires instead of on the airwaves!