My tendency to anthropomorphize everything makes looking at this picture hard. Amos the Prius looks so sad and I genuinely feel a little remorseful. However, I console myself with the thought that he is now roaming freely around the Michigan countryside, no longer locked by himself in a cold city garage, never let out to feel the wind in his grill and glance smugly at other lower forms of automobile as they spew their filth. Yes, he is happy now.
And, really, so am I! We almost never drove that car. Maybe once a month or so. Besides the bikes (transportation choice #1) we have a great public transit train and bus system in Chicago. There’s also the i-Go car sharing system, with a Prius always at the ready only a block from my condo, regular rental cars, and taxis. So after thinking and talking and talking and thinking, my husband and I finally put the Prius up for sale in the beginning of November. This weekend, we got our very first serious inquiry. This is a hard economy in which to sell a car, even a Prius! Our price was low and kept getting lower. We sold for a lot less than we originally planned, but the market spoke loud and clear.
Here is what we save:
$460/month car payment, $100/month insurance payment, $200/year city sticker and registration, $0000/month gas (I feel like the gas number should be really big ’cause that’s what people always focus on, but really, driving a Prius once a month uses almost no gas at all). Here is what we make: $1,200 over what we owed on the car loan (which goes into my savings fund for a new bike!), $150/month renting out our garage space to our neighbor (with a promise that she’ll leave room for my bikes).
I was so excited when we reduced our two cars to one Prius and the Prius is a very nifty car. But my beef with cars does not begin and end with gas consumption – in fact, that’s a very small part of it. The car is very dangerous, divorces humans from our environment, and mucks up our communities by making things like wasteland suburbs possible. Now, lots of people in Chicago live without a car, by both choice and necessity, so it’s not such a big deal here. And if I still lived in the South I probably would still have a car. But I’m happy that I can live without one for now.
One day when I’m living on my sunflower farm with my goats in Canada, I’ll buy a big ol’ Sanford and Son pickup truck to transport my sunflowers and goats to the farmers’ market on the weekends (actually, I could probably do goats in a bakfiets).