10 Simple Green Driving Tips
When I first started driving, gas rarely went over $1.25. Now I’m lucky if I find it at $2 a gallon. And while some gas stations offer savings through credit cards or other promotions, it’s usually not enough to really make a dent in anyone’s driving budget. Luckily, by using these green driving tips, you can increase your fuel efficiency and use less gas – therefore saving you some money at the pump. And there is an added benefit – it’s better for the environment. How? Because better fuel economy means less pollution and less dependence on foreign sources of oil.
Lighten the Load
Gas is the food for your car’s engine. The more work the car has to do, the more gas it uses. It’s food for the engine, which is what makes the car run. The more work the car has to do, the more energy it needs. It’s the reason why larger cars such as trucks and SUVs have worse gas mileage than small cars. The added weight makes the car work harder.
Regardless of what kind of car you drive, getting rid of excess weight can go a long way toward increasing your car’s fuel efficiency. The EPA estimates that for every extra 100 pounds your car caries, it loses 2 percent in fuel economy! So just by cleaning out the excess stuff you can get started on the road to saving [source: fueleconomy.gov]. Have a lot of junk in the trunk? Clean it out. Take your bike rack off when you aren’t using it.
Your Money is Riding on Your Tires
Your tires are another thing that can affect gas mileage. The simplest way to use your tires to save money is by making sure they’re properly inflated. Tires that are underinflated will negatively affect your fuel efficiency whereas properly inflated tires will help it. This is because tires with the proper amount of air inside will have less contact with the road, which means they encounter less friction, which in turns means so the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to move the car.
Find out how much air should be in your tires by either checking your owners’ manual or the inside of the driver’s door. Most cars will have a sticker there that shows the proper amount of air for the tires.
Get Rid of the Lead Foot
How you drive also directly affects your vehicle’s fuel economy. Speeding, accelerating and braking hard can all deplete efficiency. Why? In order to get moving, or to stop, a car has to overcome inertia and that requires energy. Remember above where I mentioned that gas is your car’s energy? You can use less energy to overcome inertia if you do it slowly. Therefore, you should accelerate slowly from stops, allowing the car’s momentum to help it accelerate. Likewise, driving fast requires more energy, therefore using more gas.
Share the Ride
If you really want to cut down on your fuel usage, consider car pooling or ride sharing. When people buddy up and ride together, the number of cars on the road drops and gas is saved. And the less cars on the road, the less pollution, too! Secondly, you can all split the cost of filling up the car. It’s really that simple.
Many cities and towns have car pooling resources. Check online to see what your city or town offers.
Ride the Bus
Whether you own a car, use a car sharing service, or don’t drive at all, mass transit is a great way to get around while saving and staying green. Taking advantage of mass transit can save you a lot of money since you are not having to buy your own gas or pay for parking. Not only does mass transit ease congestion, it also reduces pollution since everyone is riding instead of driving their individual vehicles.
Consider a More Fuel Efficient Car
If you’re really serious about driving greener, you could consider getting a more fuel-efficient car. For example, switching from a large SUV to a smaller car can have a big impact on fuel efficiency. Want to go even greener? Consider getting a gas-electric hybrid car. These cars get such great gas mileage because the gasoline engine can be shut off at low speeds or in stop and go traffic. During these times the car is powered by an electric motor, which means no gas is used and no pollutants are emitted.
Serious about finding a new car? Lynch Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM can help you find the perfect fuel-efficient car from their large selection of new and used cars.