We have played with lots of small steps that we can take in our day to day life to create a sustainable and satisfying life. Our old house is a great place that catches a lot of sunlight in the winter months. It’s got a massive basement and foundation that seems to be a good heatsink to keep the place relatively cool in the summer. We have been paring our energy consumption and converting the lawn around the building into an edible forest, but we have to wander away from the place from time to time and when we do, we are often grabbing the car keys and going for a ride.
This has been troubling us more and more as it becomes clear how inherently destructive the internal combustion engine is. There don’t seem to be many options to internal combustion. We can grab the bus, it’s burning diesel. We can ride the bike or walk, but our regular daily lives take us beyond bike and foot range on most days, so we have been reluctantly staying with automobiles as primary transportation.
It may be that the car of the future will be electric and maybe we can convert to clean and sustainable electric generation over time, but for now we are driving cars with internal combustion engines.
Given that reality, we decided to try converting our cars to run on propane instead of gasoline. The greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions of a propane vehicle are way under the greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions of a gasoline or diesel vehicle. That sounds pretty good. It seems like a good transitional step that we can use while we wait for sustainable transport to show up at our doorstep.
I will tell you a little more about our propane vehicle conversions in the posts to come.
Meanwhile, here are some good links about propane cars if you are interested:
- Tom Jennings is a pioneer of diy propane conversion
- Chrysler Imperial conversion – good tips on doing it right
- 1987 BMW conversion – nice pictures, no details or text
More to come about propane conversion.