Come to the Green Side

Driving Green
June 14, 2008, 7:00 am
Filed under: Green Tips

These Green Driving Tips come to you from ACEEE, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. 

1.  Avoid quick starts and aggressive driving. Flooring the gas pedal not only wastes gas, it leads to drastically higher pollution rates.
2.  Think ahead. Try to anticipate stops and let your vehicle coast as much as possible. Avoid the increased pollution, wasted gas, and wear on your brakes created by accelerating hard and braking hard.
3.  Follow the speed limit! Driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph will raise your fuel economy by about 10 percent, and can dramatically decrease tailpipe pollution in many vehicles.
4.  When possible, plan your trips to avoid rush hour. Stop-and-go driving burns gas and increases emissions of smog-forming pollutants.
5.  Combine trips. Warmed-up engines and catalysts generate much less air pollution, so combining several short trips into one can make a big difference.
6.  If your vehicle has it, use overdrive gear at cruising speeds. When driving a manual transmission, shift up as soon as possible. Running in a higher gear decreases the rpm and will decrease fuel use and engine wear.
7.  Try using the vents and opening windows to cool off before you turn on the air conditioner. Air conditioner use increases fuel consumption, increases NOx emissions in some vehicles, and involves environmentally damaging fluids.
8.  Keep your tires properly inflated.  For every 3 pounds below recommended pressure, fuel economy goes down by about 1 percent.
9.  Get a tune-up. Whether you do it yourself or go to a mechanic, a tune-up can increase your fuel economy. Follow owner’s manual guidelines. Be sure to check for worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, and low transmission fluid; have your wheels aligned and tires rotated; and replace the air filter if needed. Make sure all used vehicle fluids are recycled or disposed of safely.
10.   Don’t overfill the gas tank or try to top it off beyond where the automatic nozzle clicks off. Spilled gasoline evaporates to aggravate smog formation and can leak into groundwater.
11.  Patronize gas stations that have vapor-recovery nozzles (those black, accordion-looking plastic devices attached to the nozzle) whenever you can.
12.  If you have to park outdoors, windshield shades can cut down on summer heat and help keep the frost off in the winter.


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[…] green this summer. One of the greatest ways that this can be accomplished is to be aware of your ecological footprint when driving, and to make strides to reduce carbon emissions. This summer, when getting behind the wheel of your […]

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