The 21st century has never been a ‘greener’ world—every time you turn around you’re hearing “green this”, “green that” from everything from the fruits and foods we eat to the cars we drive; it has to be ‘green’. Every time we turn on the TV or radio, we’re seeing and hearing commercials for saving the Earth, reducing pollution, and living—‘green’, right? But it’s much easier said than done, or is it, what can one person, you, what difference can you make, especially with bouncing gas pump prices? Well, this is today’s discussion, how to drive ‘green’.
First, let’s look at being ‘green’. What does it really mean to go ‘green’. The new definition of ‘green’ simply means utilizing resources and alternatives in as many aspects of everyday living as we possibly can to limit consumption of the planet’s more natural and irreplaceable resources. Again, this means from the foods we eat, hence the growing popularity in ‘organic’ foods, to using ‘paperless’ or electronic/e-billing options, to the type of cars we drive, such as the growing popularity with Hybrids, or how and how much we drive. It is our hope that by going ‘green’, we will preserve and protect the Earth; for example, if everyone turned to e-billing, no more trees would be cut down to make paper. So what can you do become a ‘green’ driver? Let’s take a look.
Driving Green – Reduce Vehicle Weight
You’re probably thinking how in the world to you reduce the weight of car, right? This is actually really simple—remove any extra crap you don’t really need or use while you’re driving. If the trunk of your car is bogged down with a lot of extra stuff like heavy tools and sports equipment, take that stuff out! The heavier your car is, the more it will require and consume. Naturally, the lighter your car is, it will have an easier load and travel farther with the same or less amount of fuel you were using before. Remember this; you’re losing 2% of fuel for every extra 100 pounds of weight added to your car. That may not seem like much, but when you’re filling up two or more times a week, you’ll know why.
Driving Green – Tire Pressure
Believe it or not, tire pressure also plays a critical role in how much of a load is placed on your car and how much fuel it consumes. When your tires are properly inflated, it lightens the load of your car, and therefore increases your fuel efficiency. Know the rule of thumb for tire pressure; lower temperatures 40° or less, will automatically deflate your tires 2-3psi, so you should set them 2-3psi higher than the requirements. Warmer temperatures, 80° or higher will automatically inflate your tires 2-3psi, so set them 2-3psi lower than requirements.
Driving Green – Freeways, Stop & Gos, 60mph
Constant stop-and-gos that usually occur during ‘city driving’ or ‘street driving’ will quickly decrease fuel economy because every time you stop at a traffic signal or stop sign, or car is to rebuild the momentum to begin moving again, and this consumes additional fuel. It’s best to drive the freeway whenever possible because it greatly reduces the chance of constant stop-and-gos, which saves fuel. The EPA has reported that your car reaches its maximum fuel efficiency at approximately 60mph, but that fuel efficiency drops 6% for every 5mph over 60mph, so keep your freeway speed to 60mph.
Driving Green – Carpool
Yes, we know, you’ve heard this one before; well that’s because carpooling has proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce overall air pollution, traffic, and releasing of vehicle emissions. The concept goes like this; when people carpool, less vehicles are on the road, people are saving fuel because they’re driving their car less than normal, and the less vehicles that are on the road, there will be less vehicle emissions released into the air/atmosphere, which will ultimately help in the fight in reducing pollution and saving the Ozone Layer.
Driving Green – Mid-Grade & Premium Fuel Only
That’s right, pay a little bit more at the gas pump per visit, and use the mid-grade fuel or premium fuel. Again, you’ll spend a little more at the pump per visit, but you’ll also save a great deal more in the long run and have fewer trips to the pump. Mid-grade and premium fuels are better and safer for the environment, as well as your car, and they burn slower, which means your gas will last longer, and you spend less at the gas pump in the long run.
So there you have it, 5 great ways to start driving ‘green’, however, if you’re a true environmentalist, or just someone who has decided to fully pursue this; you can also purchase a Hybrid vehicle or vehicles equipped with EcoBoost engines.