You Can Drive Green without a Hybrid

Yes, everyone was excited when the Hybrid Prius came out and we could all finally Go Green with our cars.  The Prius also came with a $22,000 starting price, a waiting list and recently a slight braking problem that you may have heard about on the news.  If you’re still freaked out by the “media scare” then let’s see what your other options are for getting around town and keeping it green.


First, we have the new Ford Fiesta  (

starting at $13,320, practically half the cost of the Prius.



With today’s report from the EPA on the Fiesta’s fuel economy topping its class at 40 MPG;  29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway for Fiestas with the new six-speed dual-clutch Powershift.  These highway numbers top the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit by four and five mpg, respectively.  The Fiesta’s advanced transmission and aerodynamics help to make it as fuel efficient as possible.  This car can also hold its own when it comes to the road.  Watch this hilarious video of the Fiesta kicking butt against a Lamborghini.


It’s not just the advanced transmission that gives the Fiesta its stellar fuel economy. The car’s 1.6-liter Duratec engine, rated at 120 horsepower, also features Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT), an aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff and an engine accessory drive system that improves efficiency by reducing the energy it takes to power the air-conditioner and alternator. The story doesn’t end there as there’s also electric power steering  and enhanced aerodynamics to help make the Fiesta as fuel efficient as possible.  To top it off it even comes in green, or as they call it “Lime Squeeze Metallic”



Let’s say you need a bigger car, but don’t want a gas guzzling SUV.  How about a mini SUV?  They do have mini hybrid SUV’s, but you’re still going to pay more.  How about a Kia Sportage?  You know the fun commercials where the giant Sock Monkey goes wild with his other toy friends.  I love this commercial, but honestly I was so enamored with the monkey that it wasn’t until a month later I knew which car it was driving.


The Kia Sportage starts at $17,000 and has an EPA estimated fuel economy ratings range between 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.  Sporting a V-6 option and plenty of interior room, the 2010 Kia Sportage compact SUV is a great value buy for the budget-conscious consumer.


The 2010 Kia Sportage is available in LX and EX trim levels, in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations and equipped with either a 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-4 engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission or a 173-horsepower, 2.7-liter V-6 coupled to a four-speed automatic.  This car also comes in their version of green called “Verdant Green”.



Let’s say you don’t want to own a car, but still need one sometimes.  Zip Car ( is a company that lets you rent a car for as little as a hour!  They also have plans for day and weekend use.  If you think you might need this type of service a couple of times a month then join the club for discounted rates.  Their hourly rates start at $7 and daily rates are $73 for non-members, plus it includes the gas, insurance and 180 free miles!


Their most popular plan is for new members and first time car sharers. Simply put, you pay as you go. This might be the right plan for you if you think you'll zip at least a couple times a month. Each and every Zipcar takes 15-20 personally-owned vehicles off the road. Multiply that by the more than 6,500 cars and you've got a really big number.



If you already have a car there’s no need to dump it in the landfill just yet.  All you really need to do is take care of it.  My car has had its fare share of ups and probably more downs than I care to remember, but at 130,000 miles it’s still running!  As much as I would love a new fancy car that fit all my surfboards and toys it gets fairly good gas mileage and best of all no car payment!


Here are some reminders for keeping your car running:


1. Get Your Car Serviced Regularly

2. Check Your Tire Pressure

3. Change your oil regularly

4. Don't Use More Octane Than You Need

5. Dispose of Fluids Properly

6. Take it in for its service checks

7. Stop Your Idling

8. Check your tire pressure

9. Carpool and give it a break once in a while

10. Slow Down and Drive Sensibly


Learn more about Beth at  

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