Why I decided to hold off on a hybrid – and where you can footprint your own emissions

I was thinking of buying a hybrid recently – as I’m still driving an older Mercury Sable that gets 20-30 mpg (and has some fun design perks, plus some slowly developing creaks that are so loud that a friend I was talking to in the car one day was like, “man are you calling me from a convertible???”).

Anyway, I combined some common sense with my emissions via some online footprint calculators and concluded I’m cool to leave the car situation alone until I’m actually using a car more. If ever! Now I drive 200 mi per month or less, and am already using CalTrain whenever I have a commute outside of the immediate Silicon Valley.

SO…I decided instead to continue to focus on (1) quick wins (such as cutting out all bottled-water purchases and wastes of stand-by energy at home), (2) making changes in how I work when on long-distance projects (eg, using video conferencing to replace flights when possible).

Has anyone out faced similar challenges or tradeoffs in making lifestyle changes? I also was thinking of investigating whether hybrids truly make sense energetically when you take into account the construction of the vehicle etc…, but I continue to prioritize my busy consulting life, so I’ll defer to you all.

Quick personal emissions calculators:

– Best Foot Forward’s Ecological Footprint (takes ~2 minutes).

Travel Matters Personal Footprint – more detailed, and also offers their Excel model for looking under the hood… (takes ~ 5min).


– Environmental Defense has a calculator here – I haven’t made time to try it yet… ]



  1. Andrew,

    Great Blog! I blog on green issues too, though I am far less helpful and far more snarky. I’ll make a practice of checking your site out — excellent content!



  2. Hey TBird – thanks for flying by, and sharing your kudos! ditto, enjoyed scoping your blog just now and look forward to keeping in touch,



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