High gas prices force change, but that might not be all bad

July 7, 2008

By Kristen Miller

Last week I wrote about how high gas prices are taking a toll not only on our checkbooks, but also on our emotional well-being.

For awhile there, it seemed that whenever I turned on the news, gas prices seemed to be the lead topic.

Now, in a way, it still is, but the topic is shifting to saving gas and therefore, saving us, the consumers, money.

For example, milk cartons are changing at local Costco and Sam’s Clubs so that they save space on delivery trucks, which in turn, reduces the number of deliveries.

One Costco reported, instead of milk being delivered five times a week, now they are down to two.

The funny thing is, people were complaining about these new milk jugs because they were more awkward and harder to pour.

Apparently, to prevent spillage, a person is supposed to tip and pour instead of lift and pour.

Like high gas prices, some of these so-called changes we just might have to get used to.

As consumers, we should want manufacturers and businesses to be thinking of ways to save us money in the long run.

New milk cartons may mean less cost for milk. For me, that sounds like a win-win situation.

High gas prices are also forcing the issue of alternative energy.

The Schwan Food Company, which obviously makes its living by driving, came up with an alternative to gas during the ‘70s when there was an apparent oil crisis.

Through bi-phase technology, the trucks are run on propane vapors, as opposed to gasoline.

According to a report from WCCO, the company estimated saving $35 million in gas last year, alone, with propane at $2 a gallon.

Schwan’s is “actively exploring the possibility” of making the propane-run system available to other vehicles outside the company, reported WCCO.

Unfortunately for GM, gas prices have created a $3.3 billion loss in its first quarter, partially due to the decrease in sales of sport utility vehicles and trucks.

More and more people are becoming conscientious of how much gas their tank eats up and are switching to vehicles that get more miles to the gallon. Less gas-guzzling vehicles on the road, equals less consumption of oil.

Maybe today’s high gas prices are just a stimulant for change.

After all, if it wasn’t for high gas prices, everything, including our dependence on foreign oil, would also remain the same.