I realized something today, that I am not the overtly wasteful to be overtly wasteful type (coal rollers in massively oversized pickups, for example) nor am I the often snobbish, "my carbon footprint is smaller than yours" type, (the majority of Prius owners). I know that I am generalizing a bit, but I kind of take a middle stance on the issue of a car's impact on the environment. I don't really concern myself too terribly much with the carbon output of my vehicle, other than making sure it passes emissions tests. I still find both extremes on the issue ie. "coal rollers," and "Prius people," irritating however.
I will be perfectly frank. I do give some amount of care to the environment in terms of resource use and species protection. I recycle all of my plastic and cardboard products, and glass products even though that necessitates me taking the glass to a special recycling dumpster by my local grocery store. I also support the less radical animal and species protection organizations. I don't feel like me giving up my 20 to 22mpg vehicle is going profoundly impact the environment in a positive way, nor would buying a Prius. I also do enjoy the fun and adventure that my vehicle enables, that a Prius simply cannot. When I occasionally catch flak for what I drive, I tell the person that I enjoy the "smiles per gallon," and that I meet emissions standards and my carbon footprint is what is likely considered to be average in a developed nation.
I like to take the middle-ground when it comes to most issues, whether it's politics, product opinions, and on the environment. I only take a side when I am extremely passionate about a particular issue and feel that I personally identify with one side of the issue. What's interesting, is that the middle ground is often the most precarious place to be, as people in both camps will criticize your opinion.
I got the whole premise for this post while seeing a Toyota ad implying that people who dislike the Prius want to create the biggest carbon footprint possible. I was irritated simply because it felt like Toyota was playing into the snobbish and "holier than thou," mentality that many (again, generalizing a bit) Prius owners exude. I simultaneously dislike people purposely burn obscene amounts of diesel for the sole purpose of producing black smoke from their trucks. Thoughts?