The adage is that if you are crazy enough to believe you can change the world, you can, and if you believe anything is possible, it is.
My crusade to reduce green house gases is personal and my starting point is to reduce the gas I burn in my automobile. Below are the guidelines I am using.
- Avoid High Speeds: As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. Driving 62 mph (100 km/h) vs. 75 mph (120 km/h) will reduce fuel consumption by about 15%.
- Do Not Accelerate or Brake Hard: By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20%. Fill a cup with water and drive with it in your cup holder, use it to gauge your driving.
- Keep Tires Properly Inflated: Keep tire air pressure at the level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. A single tire under inflated by 2 PSI, increases fuel consumption The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that properly inflating your tires can increase fuel efficiency by 3 percent [source: fueleconomy.gov]. The proper level of inflation is right on your tires.
- Use A/C Sparingly: When the air conditioner is on it puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used (by about 20%). The defrost position on most vehicles also uses the air conditioner.
- Keep Windows Closed: Windows open, especially at highway speeds, increase drag and result in decreased fuel economy by as much as 10%.
- Service Vehicle Regularly: Proper maintenance avoids poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs or low fluid levels. Maintenance guidelines are in your user manual and on your manufactures website. You local mechanic will also advise you as to when maintenance should occur.
- Use Cruise Control: Maintaining a constant speed over long distances often saves gas.
- Avoid Heavy Loads: Remove the excess from your trunk. The EPA estimates that for every extra 100 pounds your car caries, it loses 2 percent in fuel economy, so just by cleaning up your act, you can start on the road to saving [source: fueleconomy.gov].
- Avoid Long Idles: If you anticipate being stopped for more than 1 minute, shut off the car. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for this time.
- Purchase a Fuel Efficient Vehicle: When buying a new vehicle examine the vehicle’s rated fuel efficiency. Usually choosing a small vehicle with a manual transmission will provide you with great fuel economy.
By modifying some of my driving habits and making lifestyle changes I expect to decrease my use of gasoline and decrease green house gases. With the simple green driving tips above I expect to increase my fuel economy (and savings) by up to 47 percent. I am developing a plan using the method and services below to decrease my fuel consumption even more, life style changes without quality of life compromises.