Are you pissed? Of course you are! When something like this happens, our first inclinations is to just boycott the offending company. Sounds easy right? Just don’t fill your tank at BP. Punish the bastards for their lax safety standards, their laughable contingency plan, their outrageous hubris, their lies about the extent of the oil spill, and even now, their bullying of reporters who have been trying to cover the damn thing.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds to vote with your dollar, not when it comes to BP. As this WSJ article points out, BP’s profit from their stations is just a sliver of their overall billions. Who you really hurt when you boycott their station, are the independent dealers who have long term contracts with the company. And even when you bypass a BP and pull into a Chevron. Guess what? You still might be buying BP oil. It’s all mixed up together and delivered wherever. So much for consumer power.
So what can you actually do to stand up for the pelicans, your grandparents down in Florida, and a better future? Stop buying oil!
Whoa, whoa. Stop buying oil? My goodness that’s impossible!
OK, yes, in the next fifty years, it is impossible to completely get away from gas. But you can try to reduce your consumption. If the average American drove 4.2 miles less a day, we wouldn’t even need offshore drilling. How about that? Only 4.2 miles less a day. You know what that is?
It’s designating one day a week as errand day, and planning accordingly, instead of making lots of little trips. (So much nicer!)
It’s vacationing at the beach that is two hours away, instead of all the way down South. (Screw road trips. Give me the beach NOW.)
It’s skipping the taxi and taking the subway, or better yet, commuting by bike. (Taxis are annoying anyway. Stop honking already!)
It’s picking up your friend(s) on the way to a party and leaving together. (It’s what the popular people do, don’t you know?)
It’s using Netflix instead of going out for a movie. (That sh** is overpriced anyway.)
It’s cooking your own meal at home, with lit candles, instead of eating out. (Now THAT is romantic.)
It’s going out on a sailboat instead of a motor boat or jet skis.
Such little things! Yet they could make a difference. And guess where all these little things are taking you? More time with friends and family, and less time alone in your sad deathbox. Oops, I meant SUV.
You can also use less plastic. Buy glass containers instead of plastic, and buy in bulk. I just love the look of a pretty pantry full of jars, instead of torn boxes and bags. I, for one, wash and reuse my cutlery and work everyday. It’s the little things, y’all.
In the long term, this obviously won’t be enough. We need the infrastructure as a country to support biking, walking, and taking the train, for healthy, fun neighborhoods. But until then, why don’t you get a little exercise in? That bike path is looking pretty good, eh?