Who doesn't dream of free time on the open road? Unfortunately, the old way-internal combustion-pollutes. But so does flying when it comes to travel.
I have spoken often of my frustration at having started this blog and eco-journey right before my parents got sick (one died) and the necessity of my starting to have to travel frequently-and often with little advance notice- to California to tend to family business. As an only child, I really have no choice. Thus, the air miles have built up over the past seven years. While this is great for my Frequent Flier points, it sucks eggs as far as polluting our precious planet.
And I love flying too. Not the TSA part, of course...UGH....but the thrill of being in the air and the constant amazement that human kind even figured out how to do it. To view from a "bird's eye" what humans couldn't even imagine as little as 150 years ago!
But alas, it not only took the Wright Brothers being super smart and building upon generations of physics knowledge, but the arrival of cheap and powerful fossil fuels at the same juncture in history all coincided. And this was fine and good before we came to realize that oil is a finite substance.
So what can I do as an individual? I can try to offset the damage my current and past flying has done by using other means of transport- i.e. my EV when I can.
So last month, instead of flying all the way to SFO for my routine, quarterly visit to Mom- an 1800 mile air trip spewing 1152 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere, I cut it in half by driving my electric Nissan LEAF to Eugene, OR and then on flying to SFO from there. 902 miles=577 pounds of CO2.
In addition, on the SFO end, instead of renting a gasoline car to drive up to the Sacramento River Delta to also visit my elderly aunt- a 142 mile round trip that would spew between 55 to 110 pounds (50 pounds in a 50 mpg car and 110 in a 25 mpg car), I rented a different Nissan LEAF via Relay Rides and the river trip electric as well.
(Yes- I am aware that natural gas is the main fuel for Bay Area Power plants, as opposed to the clean hydropower in the Northwest but this is an argument for another post)
I FELT GREAT ABOUT THIS TRIP!
My next goal is to drive ALL THE WAY in my LEAF, which I will be doing in June this year. It will be an epic road trip, especially as there are charging challenges in the far north of CA between the border and Sacramento.
Stay tuned! -Deb (& Lady RedLEAF, of course!)
SOME TRIP DATA
373 EV miles SEA- EUG
5 charging stops at 440- Volt Level Three Chadmo Fast Chargers
Each stop average 1/2 hour
Total time to Eugene: 10 hours
Usual time for me in a gas car is 6-7 hours to Eugene
(*One* hour of this was sitting in Portland traffic.)
Charging Stops Southbound (I-5):
Castle Rock, WA
Northbound (Hwy 99 to I-5 at Kelso)
Eugene, OR (top off)
Philomath, OR (Overnight at my cousins' house on Level one/ 10 volt)
Kelso, WA (220/ Level Two- this was about ME needing to nap rather than the car- could have made it to Castle Rock, but opted to stop and rest for ME...and top off a few miles while snoozing in the back seat)
Castle Rock, WA
See Plug Share for Maps and details!