From Anna on August 27th, 2008 in Green Remodeling
Since gas prices went through the roof in the past year, I’ve gradually noticed an increased number of people walking or riding bicycles to work. In the early mornings, it’s not uncommon to see men and women in business attire walking briskly to work. I also can’t help noticing the increased number of Toyota Priuses and other small hybrids in the neighborhood. All of this makes perfect sense, with many people making lifestyle adjustments to keep up with the inflationary economy.
Rural families are being hit especially hard. The additional distance to work and services is causing many to reconsider their distance from infrastructure, and this may be spurring the trend of families leaving the country and even low-density suburbs for homes closer to cities. One family I know in particular lives about a 30-minute drive from the closest small town. They carefully plan each trip into town to take care of as many errands as possible. In some instances, they opt to ride the public bus, which ends up cheaper than operating their cars. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average suburban households have more than doubled spending on gas dollars in less than five years.
“Across the nation, the realization is taking hold that rising energy prices are less a momentary blip than a change with lasting consequences.” The New York Times, June 25, 2008. Although many love the serene beauty and tranquility of country life, the statement above summarizes what many of us are beginning to worry about. Rural living may be forced to diminish as practical living takes precedence. One flip side to this situation; rural property is becoming more affordable.
Whether you live in the country or in the city, there are ways to decrease your cost of living. Invest in better insulation, more airtight windows, more energy efficient appliances, and water-saving landscaping. These are just a few of the money saving steps you can take to conserve both energy and your thinly-stretched budget.