When it comes to going green, our family’s mantra has always been “Do What We Can, When We Can.” To that end, a couple weeks ago the stars aligned and guided a 2008 Toyata Prius into our lives. We couldn’t be happier.

Over the last few years, I’ve spoken with many Prius owners about the car, and a pattern emerged. There was very little talk about saving money on fuel, despite the seemingly unstoppable surge in gas prices we are seeing. Instead, people bought them because it was simply the right thing to do. Skeptics often say that the savings in gas will never pay for the car, but this isn’t an exercise in ROI; it’s a chance to make a good choice for the planet…and I’ll pay for that.

Yes, I’m happy about the lower emissions, but that’s certainly not the whole story. One of the most effective ways to create social change is to vote with your wallet, and buying a Prius does that in a big way. The hybrid system is so amazing, and I really don’t understand why Detroit can’t seem to figure this out. Sure, they are “trying”, but a $50,000 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid that only gets 14/20 mpg is both laughable and embarrassing. Clearly they aren’t trying hard enough.

Along with doing the right thing comes setting an example, and that was certainly part of my motivation. I agree with Mary Gatch, who was quoted in this Treehugger.com post (you go girl!) describing the satisfaction of having people ask her about Prius. I like this as well, but not as much as I like having my two boys ask me about it. Influencing them means a lot to me, and I’m already imagining them telling their college friends about all the kooky green stuff we made them do growing up. But you know what, that stuff will stick, and their generation will see things differently…and that should be reason enough for all of us all to get hybrids.

So, if you have a chance to get a Prius, jump! And if enough of us jump, mother nature will certainly notice (and maybe Detroit will too).

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