Energy Saving Tips
With the price of fuel at record highs this summer, and the near zero potential for any return to “reasonable” prices, Maine Bass Anglers have been looking for ways to squeeze the most out of every dollar spent on petroleum. Mainebass.com offers these fuel-saving tips designed to help you conserve resources...
1. Stop mowing your lawn: Lawn care equipment such as push and riding mowers, weed-whackers, edgers and trimmers consume huge amounts of gas and oil annually. The EPA indicates that caring for the average American Lawn accounts for approximately 2% of this country’s annual fossil fuel consumption.
Those tens of millions of 2-cycle Briggs –N- Stratton motors are some of the most inefficient machines ever made. They also cause vast amounts of air and noise pollution that may make your neighborhood a less than nice place to live.
When lawns aren’t mowed, a beautiful and natural chain of events takes place before our very eyes, I'm talking about Forest Succession; the “gradual supplanting of one community of plants with another". It all starts with the end of lawn care as we know it. First, weeds and various other plants take advantage of the situation, eventually, a diverse forest will stand on the botanical desert once known as your lawn. Forests are made of trees. Trees are great for the environment. They sequester CO2 (possibly making you eligible for some sort of corporate tax break), provide a safe place for kids and wildlife to live and play and have a moderating effect on the micro-climate around your house-saving even more energy.
Neglecting your lawn care duties not only has positive effects on fuel savings and the environment, you may also wish to use the time that you would normally spend pushing those planet-killing machines around on the lake fine-tuning your angling skills.
2. Stop driving the kids around: Back in my day, I really did have to walk more than two miles to school. Even in the cold. I’m not sure when kids started getting the Paris Hilton treatment, but have you ever noticed that some kids ride the bus less than a mile to school? Remember when your parents used to tell you to go to the store for them instead of taking the SUV? Have you read or seen reports about the childhood obesity epidemic? The CDC informs us that ONE out of FIVE kids in the United States is OBESE!
Driving the family vehicle on unplanned trips all over the neighborhood and the extensive and increasingly unnecessary use of the giant diesel engines of school buses are contributing to the girth-increasing trend our children are in the throes of. (Too many Twinkies and hours of X-Box aren’t helping either). If we don’t do something RIGHT NOW, to ensure that today’s youth get enough exercise, their future is bleak indeed.
So...the next time Johnny “needs” a ride to Jimmie’s house to play guitar hero, dust off that bike you bought him a few years ago and teach him how to ride it the 400 yards down the street - or better yet-show him how to use the GPS on his cell phone in order to more easily facilitate his WALK there. Tell Susie, when she complains that “its too cold” to walk to school in the rain that it is good for her, and she better hurry or she’ll be late...and if that happens she’ll fail out and have to get a job, like Miley Cyrus.
3. Turn down the thermostat: If you are an oil burner, chances are you’ve heard this one before. I know that it isn’t winter yet, but you can use the time from now until the heat starts to kick in to prepare. Turning down the thermostat a bit (I recommend to just above 60...say...60.1) will save you many gallons of fuel oil, and thus, money.
Several years ago, the fine folks at the DIF&W decided it would be ok if the open water fishing season was extended from its usual nonsensical September 30th close to throughout October or even November on certain bodies of water. This boon to the bass angler meant that our annual fuel consumption increased up to 33%! This year, we’ve been informed that we can fish until the end of DECEMBER in many lakes, further straining our boat gas and oil budgets. People now find themselves needing to make difficult choices such as "hot homes or hot action on the lake".
Here’s what we can do. School shopping is just around the corner; use the opportunity to buy everyone sweaters, fleece socks and wool hats. Tell grandma that all the kids really want for Christmas are those home-made mittens she cranks out year after year. Make sure that everyone in the house has easy access to them at all times. In reality, any temperature above freezing is a net gain for an endotherm...and humans are no exception. People can survive at 60.1, they just aren’t accustomed to doing so. Tell them Daddy is cold too...while he’s out on the lake jerking up fat bass on December 31st. Happy New Year!
4. Work Less: Just showing up at the office on a daily basis can cause a chain of energy-eating and environment-abusing events that rival any well-intended Chinese public works project. It isn't referred to as the daily grind for no reason. Participating in the working world is one of the most wasteful things a fanatical bass angler can do. Sure, we need to work in order to afford the endless miles of line, rows of shiny tackle boxes filled with all manner of piscine-inducing treats and expensive rod/reel combo's, but the smart angler knows just how far he can stretch an organization's attendance policy to maximize fuel and energy savings.
Consider what it takes just to GET work. All of the gas, oil and wear and tear on your vehicle, plus all of the above for the people that make, sell and service your vehicle have a huge impact. Just getting to and from your job for a year consumes enough natural resources to provide the yearly energy needs of entire villages in some parts of the world. In the workplace itself, PC's, A/C or heating and office machines such as phones, faxes, water coolers, coffee makers and fridges all have voracious appetites for increasingly costly electric energy. The office copy machine itself can consume acres of carbon-sequestering forest annually by spitting out page after page after page of memos and other things the average bass angler doesn't need or care for.
All of the stuff you do at work has the cascading effect of causing other people to have to do more work; this vicious cycle needs to be interrupted in order for the country to get on track. At the other end of every phone call you make is another office full of waste. Everything you use in a day to get your job done had to be manufactured, shipped and otherwise processed by some other person with a job. The cost to our nation and the environment has spiraled out of control.
Now, imagine reducing all of this wasteful consumption by 20% or more. You have the power. Taking an average of one day off per week can put quite a dent in the sheer amount of energy required to keep America rolling. This reduction in energy consumption in the workplace will have beneficial effects like lowering energy costs by reducing demand, increasing our national security by lessoning our reliance on the nasty little places that we buy much of our life's blood-oil from and ensuring that you, by way of your now extended angling time remain a healthy and productive worker and citizen. These are trying times for everyone and if going fishing an extra day or two each week can help save the country and/or stabilize the global-political scene Bass Anglers should consider making that sacrifice.
MBDC hopes these tips will help you navigate through these tough times...now, take all that money you didn’t have to spend on fuel to mow, chauffeur and warm homes and...well...fill up the truck and boat! This will allow you to spend more time on the water! Remember...Drive Safely...