Friday, August 7, 2015

How you live -- let's build our local economy using "hot air"

Let's see if we can connect a few dots and understand what a question about vehicle tire pressure is doing in a bioregionalism quiz. To be candid, I had to stop and think about it for a minute myself.

lots of tires near the Chisago City Farmers Market
lots of tires near the Chisago City Farmers Market
Photo by J. Harrington

  1. Proper tire pressure (not the maximum on the sidewall) improves miles per gallon [see below] by reducing friction. Even properly inflated tires have some friction on the road and the air inside heats and expands. That's the "hot air" we're talking about.

  2. Improved miles per gallon means less money spent on gas [save ~ 8 cents/gallon] each and every week/month/year which means more "discretionary funds," money for healthy local food for your family, entertainment by supporting local artists and economic multipliers for the local economy. (That sucking sound you hear is "big box" profits leaving the community.)

  3. Burning less gas for the same distance traveled also means less air pollution which leads to less asthma episodes and, ultimately, lower health care costs plus, for kids, more time in school and better education and for employers and workers less absenteeism and higher productivity.
That'll do for starters. I bet if you try, you could find more dots to connect to the answer to:

What is the proper tire pressure for your car tires to maximize efficiency?
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
    Check your tire pressure. You will improve your gas mileage by up to 3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. That is an equivalent gasoline savings of up to 8 cents/gallon. Tires should be inflated to the pressure recommended for your vehicle. The recommended pressure is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.
  • US Department of Energy
    You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.1


    The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.

Pumberly Pott’s Unpredictable Niece

By Jack Prelutsky 

Pumberly Pott’s unpredictable niece
declared with her usual zeal
that she would devour, by piece after piece,
her uncle’s new automobile.

She set to her task very early one morn
by consuming the whole carburetor;
then she swallowed the windshield, the headlights and horn,
and the steering wheel just a bit later.

She chomped on the doors, on the handles and locks,
on the valves and the pistons and rings;
on the air pump and fuel pump and spark plugs and shocks,
on the brakes and the axles and springs.

When her uncle arrived she was chewing a hash
made of leftover hoses and wires
(she’d just finished eating the clutch and the dash
and the steel-belted radial tires).

“Oh, what have you done to my auto,” he cried,
“you strange unpredictable lass?”
“The thing won’t work, Uncle Pott,” she replied,
and he wept, “It was just out of gas.”


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