5 Easy And Low-Cost Ways To Drive “Greener”
You don’t have to own a hybrid in order to drive and still be environmentally friendly. There are plenty of simple things you can do to save gas while driving and produce fewer emissions. For millions of motorists, “driving green” is a matter of being conscientious and taking small, preventative measures in pursuit of conservation. In this article, I’ll give you 5 easy ideas that you can implement today in order to operate your vehicle and have less impact on the environment.
#1 – Get A Tune-Up
Over time, your car’s engine begins to lose its original calibration and show signs of wear and tear. Not only does that cause your vehicle to burn more fuel needlessly, but the exhaust that spews from the back will carry a heavier load of harmful emissions. Look at your owner’s manual and get a tune-up at the recommended mileage. The job doesn’t take long and is relatively inexpensive.
#2 – Drive Easily
Have you ever seen a driver moving along the highway at 85 mph or more? That person’s car is guzzling gas. The fact is, driving faster than 65 slashes your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that your car’s fuel efficiency takes a 7% hit for each 5 mph over 65 that you travel. And it’s even worse on city streets that are littered with traffic lights. Take your time when driving.
#3 – Get Rid Of The Extra Weight
It’s not uncommon for drivers to collect things in their vehicles (usually inside the trunk) that aren’t necessary. Gym clothes, extra tools, golf gear, chairs, and other items add extra weight which creates additional drag. Even a bike rack can create wind resistance. The more resistance, the harder your car works to move, which translates into burning more fuel. Take the items you don’t need out (or off) of your car. You’ll end up saving money at the pump while giving the environment a small break.
#4 – Cruise Along
If you’re going to drive long distances, turn your vehicle’s cruise control on. It’s most useful when you’re driving along level roads; variances in elevation cause the system to vary speed to compensate.
#5 – Don’t Idle
When your engine idles, it consumes fuel. Unfortunately, you’re not actually getting any value from the gas since your car isn’t moving. Of course, some idling (for example, when you’re stopped at a red traffic light) is unavoidable. But, when you’re stuck at a train crossing, waiting for someone outside a store, or grabbing a quick bite at a fast food drive-thru, consider cutting the engine.
Remember, taking a few small steps to conserve fuel and reduce the toxic emissions from entering the atmosphere goes a long way toward protecting the environment. You may not be able to give up your gas-guzzling vehicle or buy a new hybrid, but you can easily drive greener without much effort.