Buying a Car, what does that have to do with health?

Written by Cyndi

Cyndi is about educating. Her greatest love is to teach, both in the public arena and within the large corporate food companies, to enable everyone to make better choices so they too can enjoy greater health throughout their lives. Considered one of the world's foremost experts in Nutrition, Cyndi brings over 40 years experience, research and knowledge.

July 9, 2013

As a mother of three small children my car purchases were all about safety, reliability and size – I needed one that could not only hold the children but all the prams and gear I seemed to carry where ever I went. 

Now I’m an empty nester I still have the same needs in a car, but having just myself in the car for most of the time, the size of course has changed.

My husband Howard likes to trade in cars after a certain amount of kilometres.  We are not extravagant with our car purchases but we do like something that will hold its value, is reliable and works with our lifestyle.

Last year I began the hunt for another car, I test drove one car after the other.  They all seemed like nice cars varying in price range from the outrageous to the inexpensive.  To me all the cars I tried were great, they all did what I needed them to do, no matter what the price was they were all reliable, comfortable, had connectivity for my phone and ipod, as well as all the safety features needed.  But for some reason I couldn’t make a decision, because after all it was just a car, so I let it slide and just kept driving my familiar Toyota Corolla.

I have had Toyota’s all my life – (although my first car was a mini), I wanted something different so I didn’t bother to go and have a look at any Toyota’s, the car I wanted when I got my current car was the Prius – hybrid, but I felt it was too expensive and not the nicest looking of cars, and yes looks do matter.

While I was away speaking, Howard decided to go and look at Toyota, it seems I couldn’t make a decision so he thought he’d keep looking for me.  When I got back he told me that Toyota had a new car called a Prius C and he thought I should take a look.  I went down to the show rooms in Currimundi, Sunshine Coast Qld and had a drive of the new Toyota Prius C.

It drove beautifully, it had all the features I wanted including connectivity, safety, size, comfort and it was cute to-boot.  The most extraordinary thing about this car is it suited who I was and what I stood for.  For the first time in my life I felt like I was being authentic with the purchase of a car.  Here was a car that used half the petrol of many small cars and would help not only my economy but the environment and the planet.

I read a quote, and I don’t know who said it but it goes like this “If you really think the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money”.

While I’m not perfect in all that I do for the environment, every small thing I decide to do can help make a difference and if we all become conscious of this fact, then collectively we can make a difference.

These things may include but not be limited to;

  • Consuming foods where chemicals are not used
  • Not buying foods in packaging with hundreds of chemicals
  • Being a locavore as much as possible with fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, nuts and seeds
  • Having an edible garden
  • Eating eggs from happy chooks
  • Using less electricity by having strategies in place
  • Not using personal care products tested on animals
  • Using personal care products that can also be consumed – no chemicals
  • Eating ethically farmed foods
  • Not consuming palm oil
  • Buying fair trade foods
  • Reducing waste
  • Composting
  • Walking and riding a bike
  • Driving a hybrid (I can now add this)
  • Using solar hot water and electricity
  • Reducing plastic use
  • Picking up rubbish while walking along the beach or park
  • Low impact camping and hiking

All these may seem small individually but it all helps, and if more do it then we all play a part in looking after the planet and resources for animals, plants and future generations.

So I’ve had my Toyota hybrid Prius C for a couple of months now.  I live on the Sunshine Coast and it costs me $3.42c ($1.40 litre for petrol) to get to my Dad’s on Bribie Island, about 40 minutes away.  To go to the Gold Coast is just under $10.00 (2 hours away), to go to the airport (1 hour away around $7.00, to drive to work with heavy traffic about 54 cents although I’ve done it on .34 cents.

My son Brogan got in it the other day and he told me it sounded like a golf buggy.  I can sneak up on anyone, sneak out of my driveway without a noise to be heard or surprise my friends without any announcement of a car, or get home late and no body is woken by a motor.

When I drive I like to be productive either by learning or on the phone.  The base model Prius C enables me to do this.  My phone connects the minute I get in the car so all my calls are hands free.  I have downloaded 1000’s of podcasts and audio books. My ipod is connected so that I can listen to the things I need to listen to as well as when the car stops, my ipod stops and then picks up when I get back in the car.  All the mod-cons you need in an environmentally aware car.

A few of the young girls in my office team, love the idea of the Prius C, they too are interested in making a difference for the environment and their own health, but they are modern girls and aren’t prepared to reduce their busy schedules by driving a horse and cart or riding a bicycle to university and then home and then to the office.  I’m sure you get the picture.

Everywhere you look companies are making it possible for us to care for the environment, our health and our future generations. I heard Clive Palmer say the other day – instead of giving everyone faster internet, he believes with the money that will be spent the government could give everyone an electric car or hybrid.  Nice idea!

I did get a demo Prius C with 6000km on the clock, my husband and I have never purchased new, firstly we hate the smell of new cars but also we believe its an economical thing to do.  The team at Sunshine Toyota Currimundi were very accommodating, so if you want to know anything more give them a call or of course go to your local toyota dealer.

P.S. I receive no payment for this blog just wanted you to know what is out there.


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