Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step


December 11, 2006

Prius Mileage: 25 MPG with Christmas Tree on Roof

Category: Fun,Household,Transportation – Tom Harrison – 12:18 am

Yes, you heard it here first: a Prius with only a modest sized, fresh cut tree maxes out at around 25 MPG at highway speeds.

As I drove along watching the average mileage in the mid to high 40’s get hammered, I was mortified (good thing we used Theresa’s Prius, not mine :-). But then, I realized that we were now getting the same mileage as … the average car.

Now, I was truly mortified. It’s easy to forget that a little thing like a Christmas tree on the roof can change things so much.

And before you go, consider how, when you add those little things up (no, not the trees) they become a huge mass of waste. A roof rack on one car. Low tire pressure on another. An SUV or pickup that is much too big for regular daily usage. Those big trucks that drive Christmas trees down from New Hampshire and Maine. Or planes that fly pineapples from Hawaii. Or people from Hawaii. Or Pittsburgh. Or cars to the office every day.

I’m not saying we should all stop buying Christmas trees, or commuting. But it is worth thinking about how little things we don’t think about that often actually affect energy consumption patterns.

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