After doing a bit more work on my scooter (ok, I adjusted a clutch cable – not really work), my ride is shifting like (vegan) butter. This is great! And while I was out riding yesterday, it again occurred to me how thankful I am that I don’t have a car. I pretty much hate driving.
I’m not smug enough to think that I’m saving the earth by riding a scooter. Hell, I mainly ride a two stroke. Sure, I get 65mpg, so it cuts down on some of that “carbon footprint” thing, but I’m burning oil (that’s what two-strokes do), and even though it’s a very clean burning synth oil, it’s still not great. ((Two-stroke engines, like diesel engines, emit more particulate. They look dirty, but actually, due to the efficiency and small size of the engines they emit LESS CO and CO2 than a regular car or SUV.))
So what should I do? Buy a new scooter? Well, that’s what I did a year or so ago, remember? I bought a 2007 Vespa GTS250. It’s super clean and gets like 75mpg or something. Much better than a hybrid.
But that brings into question the idea of buying a new anything in order to be green. I didn’t buy the GTS250 to be green. Hell no. I bought it to ride across the country. And I did that. Twice. If you want to be “green” and need personal transportation, buy a used scooter, car, whatever. Buying new anything is not “green.”
I’m not a big fan of the “green” movement. Mostly it’s for very well off NPR-listening pretentious liberals. I’m very much not one of those things. Take, for example, this douchebag at Huffington Post. This is everything I hate about the whole “green” thing. He thinks that buying TWO brand new $7000 & $10,000 Vespas gives him green bragging rights (it’s about half-way down his rambling, self-serving article).
What he and most others don’t take into consideration is the “carbon footprint” of buying a new anything. And percentage-wise, the “carbon footprint” of buying a new scooter is pretty high.
If the douchebag wanted bragging rights, he could brag about buying *one* used scooter instead of two new ones for at $17,000 a pop. But when you’re fairly well off (and surrounded by others like you), I guess things like this don’t matter so much.
He even tells us how he goes shopping. Instead of buying less and packing it into saddlebags and a backpack or two, he hires a taxi to take the groceries home. What. A. Douche. Why not just take a cab the whole way? Wouldn’t that be more practical? Yes, but no bragging rights.
And as far as throwing some solar panels on his beach house… well, it becomes painfully obvious how oblivious he is to the real world. If you check out his energy consumption and his 300 gallon fish tank, he clearly doesn’t get that less is more.
I (and this douchebag) are lucky. We live in a place where we can ride year-round. He gives zero thought to anyone not living in California (big surprise on that one). Most folks need a car. People have families, live in places where it snows, etc. They can’t rush out and buy two brand new scooters for themselves.
And seriously, why two? He claims a 250cc is for around town and the 500cc is for longer travels. But I traveled 13,000 miles on a 250cc last year. Hell, the gal who did the Peace Scooter run did twice that in two years on a 125cc! Why not just buy one small scooter? They get way better gas mileage, have way less emissions and if you buy used, no “carbon footprint” from buying new.
I do wish I would have thought more about buying used when I bought the GTS250. I should have done that. But now that I have it, I’ll keep it and enjoy the ride.
From here on out, however, I’ll buy used. It just makes more sense. There are so many used bikes out there, why get a company to make you a new one? Oh, and I promise, no obnoxious blog posts about how I’m so awesomely green for buying used. I seriously freaking promise. If I do that, stab me in the face, ok?