As of the day I’m writing this blog post, gas costs close to $4/gallon in Los Angeles. I know this is quite a bit more expensive than gas elsewhere – my parents in Iowa pay closer to $3.30 a gallon. As a freelancer whose financial situation isn’t always stable, cutting back on gas can make a huge difference in my monthly budget – few things are as painful as those gas station visits that cost me around $40 a pop. Of course, this isn’t a blog about budgeting, or about gasonline, it’s a blog about water use. And if you’ve been following my previous posts, you probably know where this is going: yes, reducing your gasoline usage can reduce your water usage.
The process for creating usable gasoline not only uses a lot of water, it can use as much as double as much water as the amount of gas produced. This website says that every day, about a billion gallons of water are used in gasoline production. Yes, that’s billion, with a “b.” And yes, that’s every day.
If you live in Los Angeles, the metro is a fantastic way to get around. Coming from a small town, I was intimidated the first time I took the subway on my own, but it’s quick, mostly clean, and safe, not to mention a good way to skip traffic. If the subway's limited routes don’t meet your needs, there are plenty of LA busses as well. Even Google Maps directions give you the option of looking up the best public transit route to your destination.
Sometimes, public transit just doesn’t meet your needs. Maybe you need to reach somewhere more remote, or maybe you live somewhere far off the metro routes, or maybe, like me, you like your sleep too much to wake up early enough to accommodate bus transfer schedules. Maybe biking is in order, then.
I haven’t regularly ridden a bike since I was a little kid, and back then, I was in the rural Midwest – a totally different environment than traffic-laden Los Angeles. I’m even more intimidated by the idea of biking on major streets than I was by the idea of taking subways. Luckily, there are plenty of bike paths and trails that allow for biking far from the pressure of traffic.
Obviously, this blog is geared toward people living in the LA Metro area, but that doesn’t mean you have to be limited to these resources. Check out the options in your own city to find out how to cut down your miles yourself.
So, if you’re inclined to go green, but for some reason haven’t yet cut back on your gas use, here’s one more reason: a billion gallons of water each day.