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Video Transcript: The Gas Money Jar

Transcript copyright earththrives.com

Beth:  One day a week I pick the boys up at the school. I would always walk over there.  It’s about a half mile from where I teach over to their school, and I would walk. The days I showed up, Eliot would say as soon as he saw me–just frown and grown and moan and complain at me–and I was just tired of it. So I said I am not the only one who’s going to walk and pick them up. So I got Garrett to say, “Okay,  yeah, we can walk.”  So we walk home and Eliot would say–walking on the bike path–he would say “why do we have to walk?”  And we would go through all the virtues of walking and the good reasons for it and one day he asked Garret-

Garrett:  “Why didn’t you drive?  My friend’s dad drove.”  And so one day I said, “We’re saving money.  If we walk we’re saving money, and if it makes it even easier for you to see we can put money in a jar when we get home.  By me not driving over here I am saving gas”.

Ashley:  We wanted to share with you–my dad wanted someone to write it down or draw it or something so I did this comic.

Garrett:  When you’re going somewhere think about whether or not you could bike or walk instead of driving.  Then for each time you don’t use the car put 25 cents in the jar for each person who isn’t driving.  Two people, to and from school, 50 cents each. That’s a dollar!

Ashley:  You only get money in the jar if you bike, walk, scooter somewhere instead of driving there.

Garrett:  If you go a whole day without using the car, put a dollar in addition to the 25 cents for each person.  If you go consecutive days without using the car, add another extra dollar each day.

Carlyn:  So do you actually change your plans–you might be on your way out to the car-

Garrett:  Frequently, at the kids insistence, because they remember, “Oh, did we use the car yet?”  It was a transformation because then it was not “Why didn’t you drive?” it was “Why did you drive?” if you came in the car to pick them up.  Use the money in the jar to buy gas–and this is the fun part–if there is money left over use that to buy a treat for the family.

Addison:  With the extra money we each got to get our own desert.  Instead of getting one or two to share, we each got our own.

Beth:  The kids were initially surprised when we had to pull 35 dollars out to pay for a tank of gas.  They said,”Oh, that much!” and so seeing the depletion of the jar with a single fill-up was useful.

Addison:  At first, the gas jar was really motivating.  But now I just got so used to biking that we just do it all the time.


Garrett:  That was our goal: to get you to see that it wasn’t really work it was just the way that we like to get there–but you got a prize out of it.

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