Making Progress Fashionable


I wonder what it takes in this day and age for something to become fashionable? During carpool into San Francisco one-morning in a clean, perfume-scented VW Golf a compliment from David about panel light colors led to an inspiring discussion. The woman’s Golf was bought used from Green Car Company and was burning biodiesel fuel. The experience? Seamless. I couldn't tell the difference.

We worry (what do I mean we, if someone told me I could only shower between 1 and 2 am for the good of our nation's water resources so all could have access, I would. I wouldn't pitch an American entitlement fit-kinda self-righteous today, huh? Fact is, I would do it for the good of all.) that we’ll lose our plush American comforts if we have to change our lifestyles in any way? David noted that the ride was entirely free of the stereotypical “diesel rattle."

Vulnerable to crime because my Seahorse ('88 Corolla, 217K miles) lacks a security system, my brain began to whir about this as an alternative to buying a used hybrid. The driver enthusiastically shared her story of giving up her long-awaited Lexus SUV to this Golf powered by an alternative energy. Bay Area dealers selling the diesels to those pursuing biodiesel know there is an untapped market and they're sleazy. She also said there is basically one mechanic in the area that deals with cars who burn biodiesel fuel. Quite a few quirks about what's good and bad. 50 mpg burning recycled restaurant oils.

Would I do it given the lean infrastructure out there? Would I drive to Berkeley biodiesel stations for fuel? So why- if I'd adjust my water uses for the masses do I hesitate over this? Because it could affect my livelihood. Because most of us work for a living. But at what point should our lifestyles adopt a long-term approach and do something beyond the next quarterly earnings announcement or paycheck?

And actually, since batteries are now illegal hazards, perhaps Apple, currently under fire for having a lame iPod recycling program, will consider offering iPods that run on biodiesel.

I thank you for joining me on this current navel contemplation session. The answers are out there I think. We have only to be brave enough to engage them and then market like maniacs until they're fashionable.

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