Some of you may notice in my side bar I'm keeping track of my car miles and public transit miles this month. This is for you, so you can keep an eye on me through this challenge, but mostly it's for me, so I can see through the month how those numbers are progressing and to make it easier to calculate my Riot 4 Austerity progress at the end of the month.
If you haven't heard of Riot 4 Austerity, check it out, especially the calculator which is kind of fun to play around with if you are a nerd like me. Now I don't "officially" riot, because well, I'm not that cool, and also I hear they require you to wear black lipstick and black armbands. I kid! I kid! Riot is totally black armband-OPTIONAL. But I like to check out my numbers from time to time and see how I line up with the average American. And in general, I do pretty well. Last time I ran the numbers, my electricity was at 11% of the average American's usage, my garbage was at 9%, and of course, my pride and joy, consumer goods has been holding steady at under one percent since August! (Under Riot rules, used goods you buy count as 10% of new items, but I typically spend less than $25 even on used items each month.)
Point being, I'm fairly happy with my performance in most of the categories. Except one. My big flaming letter F is, of course, in gasoline consumption. In March I used 95% of the average American's gasoline consumption. And that is from driving alone! I shudder to think what my numbers were like in February when I flew to Chicago for a funeral.
I'm hoping with this challenge to bring that number down. How far down? Faaar down. In fact, I would love it if I could bring it down to 20%, but I'll settle for cutting my gasoline consumption in half. (Incidentally, I think the Riot calculator for public transportation is pretty flawed. First of all, saying public transit counts as 100 miles to the gallon seems a little arbitrary and a little low. Second of all, subways don't run on gas, they run on electricity. But in the absence of a more sophisticated calculator, I guess I'll go with it. Anyone who both riots and uses the subway wants to tell me how to calculate that? Orgie, Beany, I'm looking at you.) Additionally, I'm using Google maps to calculate public transport mileage. It's not entirely accurate because it calculates drive miles, but I figure it's close enough.
In terms of car miles, if, say, I con Honda into driving me home from her apartment, I'm counting her round-trip mileage even though I only ride with her one way. (I figure, she's driving because of me, so the round-trip consumption should be on me.) On the other hand, if Erin picks me up on our way to Spaceland likes she did last night, I'm only counting half the miles since there are two people in the car.
All right, I hope that clears up any questions about the methodology I'm using. Happy Friday, all!
4 weeks ago