Jumpin' Jack Flash

I know this is sort of a dead horse, but everyone I know is still talking about the price of gasoline.

It is freakin' ridiculous.

I went to Mr. K's restaurant opening this weekend in Beverly Hills, and the gas there was $4.99 per gallon. It's only slightly more than what we've been paying here in LV, but for some reason, the $5.00 mark was a new threshold for me.

After some minimal digging, HI, CA, and AK seem to top the list for the most expensive gas prices in the US. So, I guess if you don't live in one of those 3 states you can breathe a tiny sigh of relief.

I, also, found a list of gas prices around the world, and like the article says...."if you think you're paying a lot..."

On the other hand...twelve cents in Venezuela?!?!?!

It's so crazy! And, the supply and demand argument only goes so far, there are people who are getting richer and richer and we are helping them get there.

So, I started car shopping online for greener options and more economical choices as well. There is more out there than just the Prius! Here is a list of the greenest cars of 2008.

Honda really seems to be the front runner in the alternative fuel market their Civic GX model uses natural gas, and next year's FCX Clarity model uses hydrogen. Definitely worth looking into.

If you aren't in the market to buy a new car just yet, there are little things you can do while you are at the mercy of the big oil company's.

Here are 10 things you can do to conserve the gas you've got:

1. Follow the speed limit! Driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph will lower your fuel economy by about 10 percent.

2. Avoid aggressive driving. Flooring the gas pedal not only wastes gas, and it can be dangerous. I am bad at this one, and I know my friends in Boston are too! But, in the end, it's going to take as long as it takes to get there. It isn't worth the gas, the frustration, a ticket, or an accident.

3. Avoid rush hour. That's a tough one, but the stopping and starting you do in traffic uses more gas up than normal driving.

4. Take a load off. Carrying around an extra 100 pounds reduces fuel economy by about 1 percent. So, if you don't need it where you are going, don't take it! Only keep what you need in the trunk.

5. Conserve the AC. Using the AC increases fuel consumption. I am the biggest AC abuser. I am ALWAYS too hot. But, when it is cooler I do use the windows and the sunroof. When I can't get by on wind alone, I have started turning the AC down to the lowest setting I can, whereas before I kept it full blast the entire time I was in the car.

6. Buy LRR tires (Low-Rolling-Resistance). Switching to a typical set of replacement tires lowers a vehicle's fuel economy as much as 4 percent.

7. Routine Maintenance. Whether you do it yourself or go to a mechanic, a tune-up can increase your fuel economy. Changing the oil, too, will also help your car or truck last longer, replacing the oil and oil filter regularly will also help fuel economy.

8. Use regular gasoline unless your owner's manual says otherwise. Unless your car requires premium, high-octane fuels improve neither fuel economy nor performance and will just waste your money. Don't overfill the gas tank or try to top it off beyond where the automatic nozzle clicks off. Patronize gas stations that have vapor-recovery nozzles (those black, accordion-looking plastic devices attached to the nozzle) whenever you can.

9. Park in the shade in summer to keep your car cool and minimize evaporation of fuel. Windshield shades can cut down on summer heat and help keep the frost off in the winter.

10. Carpool. Why are we all so against this one? It is huge, not only for the environment, but it could cut your gas bill WAY down. Don't forget to start small, try it once a week, and see how it goes. Talk to your coworkers and see who's in. Don't forget to utilize airport shuttles too and save money on gas and parking!

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