It is almost summer and what a relief it is! Temperatures are rising, the sun is shining, and summer travels are on the way. But before it is “officially” summer, a very important holiday comes around to kick off the season: Memorial Day.

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Some families barbecue, others watch parades, many people travel to be with family, but a bunch do all three.  As a college student, I have learned it is super important to get a bang for your buck so I want to drop a major hint to those who read this blog post. If you’re driving across the U.S. or just taking the 20 minute drive to be with Grandma and Grandpa for the day there is more than one way to be green.

Ethanol is a game-changer for the consumer. As I was passing a gas station today, I saw that 85% ethanol was running about $1.99… ONLY $1.99. The invention of Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) allows consumers to purchase ethanol at a much lower price than regular unleaded gasoline. FFVs began manufacturing in the 90s however today it is much easier to know which cars can use ethanol. In 2006, most car manufacturer’s started putting yellow caps on the gas tank, have E85 labeled on the fuel door, or have a FLEX FUEL badge on the car. FlexFuelBadge

Flex Fuel Vehicles make green two ways:

  1. Ethanol is better for the environment. It is a proven fact that using ethanol instead of gasoline helps reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions by an average of 34%! If you have a FFV why not help the environment out? environment
  2. Ethanol helps keep money in your pocket. If you have the car and like spending money on other things than gas you should definitely make the switch. Like I said earlier, I passed a gas station with ethanol priced at $1.99. Unleaded gasoline was in the $2.40s. It may not seem like much, but all that change adds up in the end.

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Since you’ll have all of this green left over by saving at the pump here are a few things you could spend it on during Memorial Day Weekend:

  1. You can use some of that extra money to host a killer barbecue for your family and friends. You can buy even more hot dogs, burgers, and brats! What’s not to like?
  2. If your family lives across the nation and Memorial Day is the only time of the year everyone is able to get together you can use some of that money on travel expenses.
  3. Everyone likes to have a good game of bags to kill time before it’s time to eat, you could buy a couple sets for the guests to play on!

It’s great to save a couple bucks with ethanol and it’s great to be with your family and friends, but you can’t forget what Memorial Day is actually about.

Memorial Day is devoted to remembering men and women who have died while serving the United States of America. The National Moment of Remembrance is at 3 p.m. local time for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. Please take this time to honor these people who have given their lives for you and me. memorialday

ellen childressEllen Childress
Illinois State University student

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