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MPG Vs TGB: Which is More Important?

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MPG Vs TGB: Which is More Important?

An idea.

Most people talk about a cars fuel performance in terms of miles per gallon (MPG) or how many miles they can squeak out of a gallon of gas. When I was a kid, this wasn’t something really thought that much about, but these days, with fuel prices rising and the environment suffering, MPG is often right at the forefront of a car buyers decision making.

If you are in need of a new car, I think MPG is something you should be considering as you want to get the most out of every gallon of gas you need to use. But there is another acronym that is rarely, if ever, spoken about (perhaps because I may have come up with it with a friend) and that’s TGB, or total gallons burned.

You see, it’s important to get as many miles as you can on each tank of gas, but that’s only the small part of the picture, because you are still burning, depleting, and relying on fossil fuels. So what’s really important is the bigger picture and how many gallons (or liters if you live across the pond) you end up burning over all, or your TGB.

Let’s say John has a Prius and Bob has an old Subaru. John averages 50 MPG (he’s type A about how he drives) and Bob averages about 25 MPG. In the cocktail circles of Hollywood (where I live and work), it would seem that John has stepped up and made the commitment to care about the environment by investing in new technology that will reduce his reliance on fossil fuels. And if that’s all the info we’re going to consider, that would be a correct assumption.

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Dave Chameides

Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. "Give people the facts, and they'll choose to do the right thing."

55 comments

+ add your own
9:05AM PDT on Sep 9, 2010

ALL this does not good when you have only one vehicle for many purposes. Practical is the best thought. Does this meet all my needs or as close to it as possible?
If you have more than one then it become what is the grocery getter and what is recreation.

1:06AM PDT on Jun 23, 2010

interesting, thanks!

5:37AM PDT on Jun 9, 2010

Very interesting, thanks.

10:46AM PDT on Jun 3, 2010

For a long time, I've seen this as a justification to spend more renting a place closer to work rather than buying a fancy hybrid an living further away where housing is cheaper. I admit, I'm as interested in the time savings as the TGB, but thanks for putting name on the concept.

6:20AM PDT on May 31, 2010

Thanks for this. It's funny, I was making this point to a neighbour last week. I drive a pickup truck. Most of my friends and neighbours have smallish cars. However, they don't think twice about dashing out to the store, etc. I, on the hand, do think about it! I can guarantee that my total consumption than many people. I won't run out to get that loaf of bread, I walk to the corner store or wait until I have enough errands to do and do it all at once. This is because I drive a higher consumption vehicle. Paradox, maybe.

12:01AM PDT on May 31, 2010

Thanks for post

1:15PM PDT on May 29, 2010

Thanks.

11:34PM PDT on May 27, 2010

Didn´t know this, thanks!

5:28AM PDT on May 26, 2010

interesting subject, thanks!

2:24AM PDT on May 26, 2010

Interesting article and so true.
We have the unfortunate case where both my daughters have to do a lot of driving between the schools!
Not only taking them and picking them up but also for all sorts of sports after schoolhours!
Now my eldest and youngest daughter both drove a Honda Jazz auto and used more or less the same amount of fuel per month.
As we work in km. per liter just for you Americans who have not yet arrived in the 21st century (joke) this boils down to about 45 miles per gallon (I think).
Now my eldest daughter received a Honda CRV on her 40th birthday last week she has already calculated that she only gets about HALF of what she got in the Jazz.
Goes to show you what one has to bear in mind when driving.
I must add that she is absolutely thrilled with the CRV.
Still, we must all use as little fossil fuel as we possibly can.

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