Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day, how I saved $5867 and 37,699 lbs of carbon from being added to the air.

Earth day 2008

I was thinking about Earth Day this morning as I got on my Motorcycle and headed down the road for my daily short drive to work. I was trying to make sure I felt good about myself, being earth friendly and that riding my motorcycle does make a difference in both my carbon foot print(check out those earthy buzzwords), and my pocket book.

Since I bought my Motorcycle in 2000 I have ridden it 58,000 miles so I did a few calculations.

58,000 Miles on my Harley Davidson FatBoy and I get 44 miles per gallon so I have burned:

58,000/44 = 1318.18 Gallons of gasoline in the past 7 years. At a today's cost of $3.29 dollars a gallon.

1318.18 * 3.29 = $4336.81 I would have spent.

To compare this to my Diesel Dodge Cummins 4x4 Truck that gets 18 miles per gallon.

58,000/18 = 3222.22 Gallons, At $4.09 per gallon for today's price of diesel. That would have been a total cost of:

3222.22 * 4.09 = $13,178.88.

So the savings in Gas vs. Fuel costs for the same miles traveled is: $8,842.07, and a saving of 1904.04 Gallons for Fuel.

A gallon of gasoline weighs 6.2 pounds, consisting mostly of carbon, plus a small amount of hydrogen and a few impurities. Through combustion each carbon atom combines with two atoms of heavier oxygen atoms, resulting in 19.8 pounds of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. http://www.greenuniversity.net/Green_Economics/carbondioxide.htm

So to be totally earth friendly, on happy earth day, Here is a really good feel good thought. In the past 7 years riding my motorcycle I have not release 1904.04 gallons * 19.8 lbs = 37,699.92 pounds of carbon into the air. Yeippie for me. I am such an earth lover.

Now back to costs, what about the extra cost of insurance and tires, and maintenance for my bike v.s my truck. Let's calculate insurance first. My bike if $250 dollars a year to insure, my truck $600, but I must have my truck, so I will just count the cost of the bike Insurance. In 7 years * $250 = $1750. Now how about tires, My truck wore our about 1 set of tires in 60,000 miles, My motorcycle needs a rear tire every 10,000-15,000 miles and a front every 20,000. So lets say I have replaced the rear 4 times and the front 3 times in the past 58,000 miles. For a cost of 150.00 each. I do the work myself and buy the tires on line so the cost is less than $150.00 but I don't mind rounding up. 7 * $150.00 = $1050. I will now consider oil and maintenance for the motorcycle. I know for this discussion the I am considering the Motorcycle as all extra costs v.s just driving my truck. I changed the oil in my Harley once a year at 3 quarts and a filter. $10.00 for oil, $12.00 for a filter, after all you must buy expensive oil and a Chrome filter. So 25.00 bucks a year * 7 years = $175.00

Going back to the gas savings of my bike versus truck was $8,842.07 – $1750 (insurance) – $1050 (tires) – $175.00 (oil) = $5867.07

So that about sums it up, for close to 6,000 dollars saved in fuel, 37,700 pounds of carbon not released into the air, and my Smile from ear to ear for every single mile spent with the wind in my face.

One last thing to Note, This doesn't cover the purchase price of the Harley, but It may come close to covering the cost of a smaller more economical bike. It also doesn't consider the depreciation of my truck versus my bike. How much less would my truck be worth with an extra 58,000 miles on it versus the depreciation of my Harley now it has 58,000 mile on it.

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