Oil hit $100 a barrel again today. The leaders of Tunisia and Egypt were ousted and it looks like Libya is next. Iran, Bahrain and other Middle Eastern countries are watching protests escalate. To say that the Middle East has become unstable is an understatement. As a result, we're watching the price of fuel rise almost daily.
At Mapawatt, our charter is to help people learn how they use energy, how to compare their energy usage with others and how to reduce energy usage through improvements and changes in habits. In the spirit of our charter, we'd like to share with you four ideas on how you can help reduce the amount of fuel you use and help offset the rise in fuel prices on your monthly budget.
Work from Home
Right now is a great time to talk with your employer about working from home at least one day a week. They will understand the fuel price issue so try to negotiate a work from home policy. Depending on the distance of your commute, this could help reduce your monthly fuel budget even if it is just for one day a week. The best way to reduce your fuel usage is to leave you car in the driveway.
Plan Ahead for Grocery Shopping
If you are like me, you go to the grocery store way too often. Plan a week's worth of meals, make a grocery list of ingredients and shop for the whole week in one visit. Lot's of short trips to the store burn up a lot of fuel since stop and go traffic is the worst on fuel economy.
Bike or Walk instead of Driving
If you live close enough to your job to walk or bike to work, try to do this at least one day a week. The weather is starting to warm up and spring is around the corner. Take advantage of a nice weather day and bike or walk to work. Don't forget to set your alarm clock earlier to give you enough time to get to work on time. If you are not within biking or walking distance to work, go for a walk or ride your bike on the weekends instead of taking a drive for entertainment. We love our cars but leave it in the driveway and enjoy the nice weather and exercise.
Get a Streaming Movie box
Instead of going out to dinner and a movie, get a Roku or other streaming movie device for your television. These devices use a broadband internet connection to stream rented movies to your television from sites such as Amazon Video on Demand and Netflix. Staying in instead of going out to the movies will save fuel. While the devices cost around $100, they will pay for themselves after a few movie dates from home. Don't forget the popcorn on your grocery list!
I know there are lots of other great ideas on how to save fuel. Let us know your favorite energy saver by commenting below.