Guzzling, guzzling, gone

My old V8 Suburban gets 9 miles per gallon. It goes against my principles to drive it, but if I sell it someone else might end up driving it more than me. What’s the eco-friendly solution?

I’ll try to answer your question from my own post-possession standpoint. I don’t like things. And there’s no way I could find Zen with that gas-guzzling beast nearby, even if it wasn’t guzzling at the moment or hadn’t had a good guzz in years. It’s the principle of the thing. But getting rid of the car is tricky.

You didn’t specify whether it was a diesel suburban, in which case you could switch to biodiesel for a cleaner burn or visit to consider converting the engine to run on straight veggie oil. I saw it work on a Dodge Ram 2500—amazing. But Isaac Stewart of Mike Daugherty Chevrolet said most Suburbans from your era weren’t diesel, and suggested that you donate your vehicle to a church. “They could use it as a bus just on Sundays to drive people to-and-from church services. You’d get a tax break on it and you’d be helping the church.”

Still more than you would drive it?

If you take the SUV to a junk yard, you run the risk that some yayhoo mechanic might take a liking to it. So here’s the enlightened solution: Gut it. Strip the old clunker of its engine, wheels, seats—everything. The Jardin Botanique de Montreal did a wonderful postmodern simplification of the automobile that had me all post-jaded. It was beautiful: Old car frames raised on blocks, draped in chicken wire and transformed into plant sculptures. It’s a post-post-possession way to keep the car and avoid pre-eco-enlightenment accusations. Or you coat the old frame in dayglow paint, attach spinning pinwheels to the ceiling, throw a tie-dyed mattress on the gutted floor, then sit around quoting Tom Wolfe with your own Merry Prankster friends. You won’t actually go anywhere (no tires, remember?)—except through the acid looking glass in the privacy of your own ex-guzzler.