“$500 a month, free gas to drive a billboard”. So goes the headline from this recent article on CNN.com. Jobing.com pays its employees to have their cars wrapped with ads for the company. It’s a great idea that’s a win-win for both parties. Advertising is expensive ($500 a month is nothing really, for a billboard) and gas prices are high. Who wouldn’t want free gas + a monthly paycheck to drive their car around? I’d probably do it if I had the chance. (Although my older car would never qualify — simply because it’s more than three years old.)
But here’s what I have a problem with: the attitude.
“Misha Di Bono zips around town in her Infiniti sport-utility vehicle, breezy and unconcerned about the price of gas.”
Now that might not be Misha’s attitude — it might just be the way the writer phrased it. But seriously? Breezy and unconcerned about the price of gas while she drives a vehicle that probably gets between 12 and 20 MPG because she doesn’t have to pay for it? It’s the classic “oh that doesn’t affect me so I’ll behave however I want” attitude.
Sure, she gets her gas paid for by someone else. But what about increased transportation costs in general, which can lead to higher food costs? What about the higher costs of production of everything involving petroleum? (Plastic, anyone?) What about the crazy speculation on the price of oil? What about wars over scarce resources?
People need to think things through. Just because you personally can afford to put gas in your tank, doesn’t mean you should go around wasting it willy nilly all the time. Think about the larger effects of your actions.
Of course, I’m guilty too of not thinking things through at times too. Sometimes I drive 30 minutes to my most favorite pizza place ever. Sometimes I want a pizza (or to travel!) more than I want to be responsible. Sometimes I don’t keep the bigger picture in mind that’s affected by my small actions. But I do try. We need to care about more than just ourselves.