I haven’t had a car for 11 years. Not because I’m particularly virtuous, but because I moved to Manhattan where there’s, um, no place to park one.

But my identity as car owner did not go gently into that good night. Before I left Texas for NYC, I fretted almost constantly about leaving my car stereo, my sunroof — my freedom! — behind.

And now — well, now I’m fretting constantly about becoming a car owner again.

You see, two years ago, I moved to Santa Barbara, and while the public transportation is pretty good during the day, at night … let’s just say that my evening activities are pretty much limited to destinations within a 30-minute walk of my house.

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This time around, I’m shopping for good gas mileage instead of a groovy sunroof. So last night, I checked out the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s list of greenest and meanest cars of 2007.

While I was trolling the site, I also ran across a page filled with tips on driving green. Now, most of them you’ve probably heard before. Don’t speed. Don’t start fast. Don’t brake hard. (All advice I could have used in my younger days.) But there are also some to-do’s that were new to me, like buying low-rolling-resistance tires. (Never heard of ’em — have I really been away from the automotive world that long?)

Even if you’re the greenest driver on the block, it’s a great link to share with the “jack-rabbit” drivers you know and love.

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