Now that gasoline prices have become an issue, it's easier and easier to ask for accommodations from friends and colleagues - and to carpool - meet at central locations, etc.
I moved from live L.A. in 2003 but I got rid of my car the previous year and was fortunate enough to utilize the train system. I lived in Los Feliz and could walk down to the Vermont/Sunset station. Also, there was a very convenient bus that could take me northeast through Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena & even to La Canada-Flintridge. It is possible to live in L.A. without a car!
I now live in the northwest corner of Massachusetts where a car is a necessity. Since I'm just 20 minutes away from Bennington VT, I go up there for major needs that I can't find in my own city. I use up less gas going there than I would if I drove south to Pittsfield MA. I limit my trips to Northampton (100+ mi R/T) and Boston (300+ mi R/T) or meet at a friend's house along the way to carpool.
I own a Honda Civic, so I get excellent gas mileage. The biggest change I've made to conserve gas is that I've scheduled my grocery shopping. Since I have a limited income I've had to learn to plan more so now I just have learned to plan my trips. I go out with my neighbor twice a month to do bulk shopping. If I have to pick up other things, outside those trips, I piggy-back it with other trips. It takes planning... lots & lots of planning.
Whenever I can, I shop on the internet as well. There's no sense in driving 30 miles to buy printing ink when I can have it delivered to my door. Overall, I'm just being mindful of how & when I use my car.
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