Cylvia Hayes & her Prius

Cylvia Hayes is the founder and Executive Director for Earth Connections --
Oregon. With 14 years of professional experience in environmental education
and advocacy, she specializes in sustainable living and environmental ethics. She is co-founder and former Board member of Friends of Bend. Ms. Hayes sits on the Sustainability Committee of the Oregon Progress Forum. She is a recent graduate of the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Leadership Institute. She holds a Masters in Environmental Studies degree, with a major in Sustainability and Biodiversity Preservation. In both 1999 and 2000, Ms. Hayes was honored by her community with an Earth Hero Award.

I love my 2001 silver Toyota Prius (affectionately known as Mabel. And other folks like her as well. 

Recently, after a doctor appointment in Redmond, a farmer in a plaid shirt, wearing a faded red baseball cap, noticed my car. His current vehicle was a four wheel drive pick up, but he said he and his wife we're very interested in these new hybrid vehicles.

After giving me a good grilling and Mabel a ten-minute examination, he put his hands on his hips and said he was definitely going to get one!

Even more impressive, during my recent 8,000 mile road trip, I visited my mother and stepfather in eastern Oklahoma. They own a 4x4 truck and a Geo Metro, which is beginning to get a bit tired. They had been leaning toward purchasing another combustion engine economy car, but were so impressed with my car that they actually went and test drove one. 

Two weeks ago, they called to let me know they were going to purchase a Prius. I was glad, both for them and for the Earth. Not only is my car the most environmentally sound vehicle I could purchase, it also has a very high safety rating and is the most luxurious car I have ever owned. 

These cars average around 50 miles per gallon and put out up to 90% fewer emissions than a brand new combustion engine vehicle. This is due in part to very efficient emission control systems and the fact that the gas engine automatically shuts itself off when it isn't needed. 

That truly wonderful feature takes a little getting used to. When, for instance, you are idling at a red light, the car automatically shuts off the gas engine. Sitting there, the car is totally silent. When the light turns green, all you do is press the accelerator, just like in a non-hybrid. The car takes off powered
by batteries. When it needs more power, it automatically engages the gas engine. Very smooth, very, very smart.

Cylvia Hayes

Earth Connections -- Oregon
16 NW Kansas St.
Bend, OR 97701
(541) 383-5272