By John Addison

Excerpt from the Prologue of Save Gas, Save the Planet: John Addison’s book about hybrid and electric cars, pathways to low carbon driving, and the future of sustainable transportation. © 2009 John Addison. All rights reserved.

You Can Make a Difference

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

You can make a difference. Save Gas, Save the Planet tells the story of two new types of heroes: the “car-light” and the “car-free.” The car-light are the people who have dramatically reduced their gas usage, thereby helping save the planet and increasing their bank accounts. The car-light includes those that drive less, do not always drive solo, and use vehicles that get over 40 miles per gallon. The car-free are the millions of people who do not own a car. They prefer to use public transit, car sharing, bicycles, and walking.

The first chapters of Save Gas, Save the Planet will help you consider what you want in your next car. You may already have one fuel-efficient vehicle. You are debating whether the other vehicle should be replaced with a hybrid, a diesel, a flexfuel vehicle running on ethanol, or possibly a zero-emission alternative. These chapters describe the clean vehicles being driven today including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, biofuel vehicles, electric vehicles, and hydrogen vehicles. Issues are clarified. Myths are dispelled, including ones that suggest that these technologies are in the distant future.

You will find a number of ideas for improving your lifestyle in the middle chapters of Save Gas, Save the Planet. Millions reduce driving by participating in flexible work programs. People commute together and share rides. Many employers pay for these commute programs. There are many ways to reduce miles and improve fuel economy with your current car.

Each chapter concludes with suggested action that you can take as an individual and steps you can take to help save the planet. Your actions and your words will influence more people than you expect. Supported with the facts and examples in the pages that follow, you may inspire children, sway friends, and improve employer commute programs. You might even persuade your community to improve transportation.

Some of the 94 solutions contained in Save Gas, Save the Planet are free and simple. Other solutions require more thoughtful approaches to work, commuting, sharing vehicles, or making the best choice when buying a new vehicle. You may gain free hours and reduce stress by participating in flexible work programs, using a home office, and replacing some drives with bike rides and walks. None of these are all-or-nothing ideas. Consider realistic improvements for yourself, your family, your friends, and your community.

Be inspired by how people are living better and making a difference. Enjoy the journey.

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© 2009 John Addison. All rights reserved.