20 Things I’ve learned in the first two weeks of the Toyota MPG Challenge

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2 of Green Diva Meg's family's cars trashed by SandySince that wicked storm, Sandy ripped through here last Fall, I’ve been car-less. Two out of our three family cars were pinned under one tree — both were totaled. So, I decided to start researching cars and as fortune would have it, a few smart car companies decided it was a good idea to let me do week-long test drives to review their cars. I’m convinced I want either an EV (all Electric Vehicle) or a plugin hybrid. I get a cheap (literally) thrill from avoiding the gas pump. I want to hasten the demise of my dependence on fossil fuels. A Green Diva can dream, right?

Toyota Prius Plugin parked in front of Green Divas HQ

So, being invited to drive this awesome Toyota MPG Challenge in the Prius Plug-in Hybrid was perfectly timed for my selfish reasons, but I can feel good about it because, while I’m getting a chance to thoroughly check out this car, I can hide my self-serving intentions behind the truly awesome charity I am hoping to win money for — and I’m more motivated to win because my charity is Eleventh Hour rescue, where I found my beloved Gracie woof. They rescued her and continue to tirelessly rescue so many animals. Most of them are volunteer and I want to repay them in any way I can for their important work.

GD Meg & Gracie in Toyota Prius Plugin #PluginforCharity

Honesty and nobility aside, I’m loving this car and growing attached to it by the day. My boiled brain (yes, it has been a bit hot and I’m stubbornly trying to drive sans AC to save MPGe’s) keeps wondering if Toyota might take pity on a car-less victim of Sandy and just give me the car. Maybe if I promise to haul rescue animals weekly? But my purple peace sign looks so RIGHT on this car!?!

We are halfway through and I’m stuck in the middle of the pack — lost my 3rd place standing and now have to claw my way back to 3rd place. I’m not a fierce competitor by any means, and I really admire my colleagues, but I just HAVE to win something for Eleventh Hour! Gotta try and catch up to EcoKaren, Green-4-U, Earth Day NY; and stay ahead of these awesome folks (sorry) Green Living Guy, InHabitat, NY Green Advocate.

I may not be winning, but maybe I’m learning . . . 

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Even in the name of a good and worthy cause, I don’t want to crack open a manual
  2. I would rather be drenched in sweat than burn ANY extra MPGe’s!
  3. There are no public charging stations within my 11-mile driving range
  4. The ONLY charging stations (according to PlugShare, ChargePoint & CarStations) are at 3 not-so-close Nissan dealerships!?
  5. Gracie looks like a car-model dog
  6. I LOVE not buying gas (so far anyway)
  7. My purple peace sign belongs on this carPrius Plugin by Green Diva Meg's herb garden
  8. It feels harmonious to charge this car next to my herb garden
  9. I feel pretty darned cool driving this Toyota Prius Plugin
  10. As John Voelcker (Sr. Editor GreenCarReports.com) put it when I reached out for advice on how to win, “you have to accelerate like there is a raw egg between your foot and the gas pedal and you DON’T want to break it.
  11. Driving like there is an egg between my foot and gas pedal means I irritate other drivers frequently and get lots of frustrated honks and gestures
  12. Braking can be exhilarating!
  13. I love going down hills
  14. I loathe going up hills
  15. This car charges the battery even when I’m on a highway NOT braking (?)
  16. I love AC on a hot summer day
  17. I hate having the windows down when I forget to tie my hair up and it macrome’s itself into cute little dreads
  18. I want an EV or Plugin Hybrid
  19. I want my town to get a public plug!
  20. If I owned this car, I would name her White Lightening (oh the irony on so many levels for those that know me)

Gorgeous Green Diva Gracie lovin the Toyota Prius Plugin

About the author / 

Green Diva Meg

(aka Megan McWilliams Bouchard) is the founder of The Green Divas media brand and GDGD Radio Network (the first green and healthy living radio network on earth for the earth). She's the producer and host of the popular 50 Shades of Green Divas podcast (formerly the Green Divas Radio Show), and now the refreshing and inspiring GD Spirit Pub podcast. Green Diva Meg is a well-known green living expert and media personality.

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  1. Karen@ecokaren.com'
    Karen July 30, 2013 at 7:05 pm -  Reply

    Too too funny!! Love your Macramé hairdo!

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