A move toward conservation

Nearly every person on campus can save energy and gas in some way.

This week Gov. Tim Pawlenty and President George W. Bush called for energy conservation. Bush asked Americans to drive less in order to save gas, encouraged federal agencies to conserve and use public transportation. Pawlenty will be using a car that runs on E85, a more energy-efficient and less-expensive fuel containing 85 percent ethanol.

With gas prices increasing and fuel supply decreasing, everyone should follow suit. Students should use public transportation when they can. It is not necessary to drive a car to class, a friend’s house or a destination along a bus line. Again, this is a way to save energy. It will also save students money.

While bike theft is an issue on campus, biking is still another environmentally friendly form of transportation. Minneapolis is ranked third-best city for biking when compared with cities of similar size, according to 2000 census information. And 66 percent of all Minnesotans are bicyclists, according to Minnesota Department of Transportation transit office information. That leaves 34 percent of people who should start using bikes.

For those who must drive, many other options are available. Students and others have many opportunities to save energy. About 75 percent of University students commute and should find a way to car-pool. Commuter students have plenty of options through the University to find information about how to find car-poolers. Or students could coordinate schedules with friends and classmates. These are easy ways to conserve gas.

Other ways to conserve fuel include tuning cars regularly, keeping tires properly inflated, avoiding abrupt starts, pacing driving, using the air conditioner sparingly and avoiding lengthy idling. Taking all of these steps will ensure fuel economy improvement. Not every student will be able to use E85 in their car as Pawlenty will, but nearly every person on campus can save energy and gas in some way. Some steps seem very small, but they are important.