...and saving some, too.
The day we got back from our Indiana trip (25 May) Chad and I had a discussion about how best to motivate ourselves to cut back on our car usage. $4 per gallon for the cheap stuff hit the greater Indianapolis area while we were in town, and while the cheap stuff here in Lubbock has (thus far) stayed under $3.90, it is only a matter of time. Besides, as I told my husband last week, if we must spend our hard-earned money, I'd rather spend it on things we choose to spend it on, not things we've left ourselves no choice about.
So! The Chad-and-Susan Going Green challenge is as follows: For every day that we do not use our car, we pay ourselves $1. The cash goes into a jar until we have enough to take out and do something meaningful/fun/whatever with it. Then, if we manage to go two weeks between fillups, we get a bonus dollar for each day. For instance: we last filled up two Saturdays ago. Last Friday (27 June) marked 14 days from fillup day. So, on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we got a bonus dollar.
So for us, this challenge is working well. I don't know how long we will keep it up, or what form it will evolve into as the weeks go by. But so far, our original intent has been upheld: we are using the car a lot less.
An in case you're interested, Time published this article about the positive effects of $4-per-gallon gas. (Yeah, I was skeptical, too. It's a good read, though.)