Is the May 15 Gas Out Worth the Effort?

I read about the May 15 gas out over at Green Options, and while I’ve heard of many of these happening before, I still find the idea interesting.

The basic concept is that for one day you do not buy any gas. Ideally, you don’t use any gas either, but that won’t be practical for many people. This unfortunately limits how well this kind of thing works because many people will just buy the day before or the day after, and things will probably mostly balance out.

Which is really a pity.

This idea has been bouncing around for a while. I hear about a gas out every few months, especially when prices are climbing. Prices in my area are generally over $3.40/gallon, so buying a tank of gas is quite painful for many budgets.

But there are better ways to show gas companies that you don’t like where things have been going. You can use less gas on a regular basis. Get millions of people to commit to that, and you will have a far greater impact on gas companies than using no or less gas for a single day.

No, I won’t be participating. I go many days without using any gas myself, as my husband and I share a car. I work at home so this is an easy thing to do. But it just so happens that I have a dentist appointment on the 15th, so my options are limited.

But I think my one car family status gives me perspective on just how possible it is to go through life using a car less. I’ve been at it for over 4 months now. There are occasional inconveniences, and sometimes I have to borrow a car, but overall it is very doable.

To just plain drive less, you need a realistic plan. It doesn’t matter how you plan on driving less – carpooling, combining errands, getting rid of a car – you need to have a plan that you can live with. How will you cope with emergencies? What about doctor’s appointments and the like, which cannot always be scheduled at the most convenient hour?

I’m fortunate in having plenty of family in my area to help. Often enough when I need a car I need help with the kids too, so the needs can be combined.

Committing to driving less makes far more sense to me on every level. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to stick it to the oil companies, want to save money or want to save the environment. A good plan can help you with all these goals.

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3 replies on “Is the May 15 Gas Out Worth the Effort?”

  1. Anna says:

    If only everyone thought this way… but I guess the idea is that change can start small. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately (ran across this video news clip today and the Mat 15 idea seems like a good way to start. Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  2. Esme says:

    I was thinking about the gas out but now you have me wondering. I’d just like to be able to do something but I’m not so sure how I can save gas. No one to carpool with and there’s no way I’d use the public transportation in my area!

  3. Jimi says:

    This idea comes up every few months and it is silly. First of all, gas is a necessity for many people. IF they have to get it that day they will no matter what they say. Second, all this will do IF it is widely used, which is a big IF, the price will just go up the next day due to laws of supply and demand. If no one gets gas the day before the stations will ultimately be overflowed with traffic and they will run out of their available supply. So…gas will be at a premium and the stations can stick it to you even more.

    Gas is not a luxury for most people. They have to get to work, get their kids to school, and get the life’s necessities just to live.

    You are right that there are much better ways, but this is a lazy country and they won’t be inconvenienced. It is more important that we support alternative methods of fueling our love of petrol. America needs to lead the world in alternative fuel production and take advantage of what could be an amazing economic boost. We have the minds and the money to do so. We just don’t have the widespread support yet.

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