Higher Gas Prices Equals Conservation?

This post is about a subject many people can relate to- higher gas prices. Especially those who do not drive a fuel efficient car and spends hundreds of dollars filling up to get to work.

The other day I drove to the North Springs Marta Station to meet my middle songas prices at the pump who was catching the train from the Atlanta airport. We never go directly to the Atlanta airport because the traffic is always heavy and airport parking is expensive.

On the way to the Marta Station I had to navigate Georgia 400 which is known for heavy traffic on a multi lane highway. Driving in my Volvo 240 with the “be green” bumper sticker on the back window I had both hands firmly on the steering wheel. On 400 it starts as a 4 lane highway and lanes are added the closer you get to the Atlanta metro area.

I am known as a mindful driver who never exceeds the speed limit. On this trip I held a steady speed of 60-65 mph. I felt like my car was not even moving because everyone was zipping by me at 75 mph. Oh, the cheap gas makes Georgians feel that they can drive as fast as they want. Conservation is never thought about unless the price of gas rises above 4 dollars a gallon. Does higher gas prices equals conservation?

On ABC News the other night Charlie Gibson had a special called “Addicted to Oil”. He raised an interesting point that gasoline prices do not factor in the hidden costs of production. Such costs include the military (for fighting the gas wars in Iraqi and other places to protect our interests- cheap oil) and global warming.

Maybe such costs will be added in the future to reflect the true cost of a gallon of gasoline. If so, can you imagine how much we would be paying? Maybe 4 to 6 dollars a gallon. I bet those highway 400 drivers would slow down and show that higher gas prices equals conservation. We may also see less sales of large SUV’s and pickup trucks and more sales of electric and hybrids.

Higher gas prices may also mean that you need to take a staycation closer to home. We are not that far from Atlanta but once you get here you feel you are in a different place- nature, cooler temps, lack of traffic. For information on things to do please visit Dahlonega attractions . You can also visit the chamber site.

Paper & Plastic Bag Tax

This post is about paper and plastic bag tax and will it drive people to use reusable grocery bags?

On ABC World News they featured a story about the use of paper and plastic shopping bags in grocery stores. The public has been slow to adopt the usage of reusable shopping bags. You have seen them. They are made of cloth or heavy plastic. Could a paper and plastic bag tax encourage use of reusable shopping bags?

I have mentioned on previous blog posts that I am frustrated that when I go shopping with my wife she seems to be the only one using reusable bags. However times are changing with grocery stores encouraging the use of their reusable bags and more people are participating.

On another news channel they mentioned that some major cities are thinking about imposing a tax on each throw away plastic or paper bag used. San Francisco has already outlawed plastic bags. Other cities like Washington, DC are looking at a 20 cent per bag tax. The poor are crying foul saying they cannot afford the tax. At Trader Joe’s last week we bought a reusable bag for about a dollar. Reusable bags are affordable so the poor need to think of another reason.

In Ireland the ABC News story went on to say that they have imposed a 33 cent a bag tax on all bags. Nine out of ten consumers in Ireland now bring reusable bags when they go shopping. Hitting the pocketbook changes consumer behavior in Ireland. Would such a paper and plastic bag tax work in the USA. I would be willing to give it a try.

I hope Americans think about the consequences of their buying habits but I know that is wishful thinking on my part.

Bring on the bag tax and lets get rid of those awful plastic and paper bags that create pollution in their manufacturing (plastic) not to mention the number of trees that must be cut down for us to use a throw away paper bag.

Go out and purchase some reusable bags next time you shop and keep them in your car so that they can be used for your next grocery shopping trip.

Next time the check out person says paper or plastic say neither, I brought my own reusable bags.

If you would like to learn more about our green practices at the inn please visit  green.

Less Garbage Is Green


Early this week my wife and I loaded up our VW Camper Van with bagged garbage to take it to the Lumpkin County landfill/transfer station. Since our middle son moved to Gainesville we have not been able to borrow his pickup truck for trash hauling so the van had to do. We try to create less garbage for the Earth and to reduce trips to the dump.

We placed tarps inside the van to catch any spills from leaky trash bags, loaded the van and went on our way to the dump. My wife commented that there we no odors caused by the garbage. We check our guest trash for food at check outs and also take all of our unused food and use it for composting. That explained the lack of odor.

We were also surprised that we had not made the dump trip in over 3 months and marvelled at the small amount of trash we accumulated in the last 3 months. The trash were were taking to the dump were items we could not recycle or compost. Less garbage was not only possible but easy.

When my wife goes grocery shopping she tries to purchase items in recyclable packaging. By recycling the packaging versus disposing we keep it out of the landfill which helps the environment by creating less garbage.

Here in the county we can recycle some plastics (mainly the water bottles guests leave us), cans and paper. We also use shredded paper/junk mail in our composter. Glass has to be taken to another county for recycling. Many wine bottles are bottle trees in the yard. See bottle trees for more information.

Being mindful about what you purchase and the packaging it comes in is very green. So is composting food to keep it out of the landfill. Start today and help the environment. Please do your part by creating less garbage and everyone will benefit.

To learn more about how we help the environment visit our inn page being green.