Getting Good Gas Mileage, or none at all

Driving a Floral Business in Sustainable Vehicles

My small business philosophy is centered on sustainability, green ethics and eco friendly options.  So what do I drive?  Well, for a while there, it changed from week to week. I was using City Car Share, to get myself around town for meetings, small pickups, deliveries and non-business needs.  One of my favorite cars to rent was the plug-in hybrid in Civic Center, SF. plug in hybrid2 green vehicles sf plug in hybrid The gas mileage was pretty darn good, especially after a good charge.  I could get upwards of 60 mpgs with a full battery.  Although an extra step or two, charging it was fairly easy.  My neighbors were probably wondering why I had an extension cord running out my house and into the car...  little did they know it was saving gas and the air. I often use our family wagon to deliver to larger events and make large flower runs for Gorgeous and Green Events: the veggie wagon We run it on recycled biodiesel from Biofuel Oasis.  Thankfully, this recycled vegetable fuel cooperative actually moved into a fueling station within a mile of our house, so we can go fill up at most hours of the day without a big hassle.  Since it's relatively safe in comparison to gasoline, we fill up two carboys with the stuff so we have extra on long trips or when we want to stay away from the station longer.  Thankfully, there are biofuel stations popping up all over California, so taking a road trip has not been a hassle.  Check out this cool map of fuel stations across the US if you have a diesel car and are looking for a fueling station near you: www.biofuel.org.  Make sure you learn about how it works and how to take care of your car, since it is a little different than petroleum diesel.  When it's recycled, it's way better for the environment too! Recently, I have been driving a lot more on a weekly basis, and got a little tired of having to pick up a city car share car so frequently, so I decided to get a car.  Two years without my own car, and I finally broke down.  Since I wanted to go affordable as well as fuel efficient, I decided on a Mini Cooper.  Ok, ok, so I was also looking for stylish and cute, can you blame me?  I had tried them out using city car share, and really enjoyed them.  Plus, I noticed they got great gas mileage and got even better if I drove them more consciously.  I had been waiting for MINI to start selling their E Mini, but they haven't come out with them just yet, and so I decided to lease a regular one for 3 years until they do. my mini So far, my gas mileage has been steady, an average of 36 miles per gallon for my combined city, bay area traffic and freeway driving. 36 mpg I bet I could get my freeway mpg's well over 40, on a steady trip.  How is it so high? ... You might ask.  Well, I bought the basic version, few extras with a manual transmission.  So it's light and I have more control over the gas.  I have also made neutral my friend and don't rush up big hills, after light changes and up to stop signs.  It takes some getting used to and a little patience from my co-drivers on the road, but it doesn't mean I can't go fast.  I do have a 6 gear engine, after all. All in all, I wish there were more cars out there with better gas mileage, or no gas mileage for that matter.  I would love an all electric car, or a high performing hybrid and more style options to boot.  We have the technology, and we've had it for almost 15 years, but someone has been locking it up. For more info, do check out the film: "Who killed the electric car?". At least every once in a while I get to see one of these, which makes my heart go pitter, patter:

Rav4 ElectricA Rav4 all electic car on the streets of San Francisco.

In good health and great gas mileage, G&G

Earth Day Everyday

Why not make the earth a part of your day, everyday, while you jet around town?

In the life of a green and eco-conscious business woman, I have become more and more conscious of the small and big things I can do to support local communities, reduce my impact on the earth and share knowledge so that others can be more conscious and act sustainably as well. Over the weekend, I decided to buy an electric bike.  My previous bike had been stolen and I was looking for something I could ride around town without having to use our bio-diesel wagon or a hybrid City Car Share, especially for short local trips.  Both our recycled bio-diesel wagon that's fueled with diesel from biofuel oasis and the city car share are often great options, because of the reduced emissions and sustainability factor.   But, I was looking for something a little more convenient.   So here I am with my new electric bike (which looks like a vintage scooter).   me-and-electric-bike I also bought one for my husband so we could go on local trips together.  Here we are with two bikes that look a little more modern... electric-bikes I know, a little dorky, but  overall, the bikes are great and a lot of fun.  They charge in about 4 hours and have a 15 mile range.  They go 15 to 20 miles an hour, and it's possible although a little cumbersome to pedal them if they run out of charge.  You'll notice I brought an extension cord: we knew we'd head to a friends and asked to charge our bikes up while we helped them with their garden.  A fair trade I believe.   You don't need a separate driver's license or vehicle license, since they are considered a bike.  They were also fairly affordable, which is a plus.  I bought them at pacific Electric Bikes www.pacificebike.com  in Berkeley. I'm still waiting for the affordable all-electric car to come out (The Mini has come out with a cute electric trial version and the Tesla looks stunning, however expensive) Some of you may be wondering: why is all electric a good thing?   In brief, electricity is less obtrusive and damaging to the earth and air than harvesting and processing fossil fuels.  If we can get more of our electricity from the sun, for example, than it's even cleaner and more sustainable.  Electric vehicles can be just as fast, if not faster than gas cars, and although their radius is within a charge, the more infrastructure that is built to support electric vehicles the easier it will be to use them for long and short distances.   Into a Green Future we go... G&G