Monday, August 13, 2012

Thoughts on Commuting

I've been working at my job for close to 5 months.  I really love it, and still can't believe I'm paid to do what I do.  Not many people can say that, so I am really lucky.  But my luck comes with a down side - a very long commute.  And, unfortunately, one that must be made by car.

I work in the south east end of the city, in the rural farming communities just on the outskirts of "civilization".  There isn't any light rail or public transit system out here. 
I don't forsee myself taking on a new job in the near future, so I've been trying to think of ways to make the trek as environmentally-friendly as possible.  I drive highways and country roads, so my cruise control is my new best friend.  I drive close to the speed limit, to try to limit my gas consumption.  I only use the air conditioner on the really hot days.

The biggest problem is the vehicle I drive.  Due to the area of the city we live in, we own two vehicles, as there is no easy access to public transit near our house to get us where we need to be.  One is a fuel-efficient car, the other is a not-so-fuel-efficient mini-van.  DH drives the car for his 35 km commute (one way), while I drive the van for my 60 km commute (one way).  We've talked about switching vehicles, but here is our conundrum:  the van will need to be replaced in the next two to three years (it is currently about 9 years old, and starting to show signs of slowing down).    I have the longer commute - do I drive the more newer, more fuel-efficient car, or put all the driving miles on the van and run it into the ground, with the hopes that in 3 yrs when we replace the van we will 1) be able to get a more fuel-efficient vehicle and 2) one of us will have a job closer to home and therefore will not be putting as much mileage on the car, thereby making it last longer? 

For now, I am sticking with the van, but I am interested in my readers' thoughts on the matter, so feel free to chime in.

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