Drive Green with Eco-Driving Tips

Decrease your fuel usage to save your budget and environmental impact

07/24/2014

The costs and environmental impact of gasoline have risen greatly over the last few years. Long gone are the days when you could fill up your car for $1.39 a gallon. With fuel costs rising more each year (sometimes tipping over the $4 per gallon mark), fuel conservation has become a necessity for many families. Not only is gasoline expensive, but the exhaust emitted from thousands of vehicles has created a negative environmental impact on metropolitan areas. You can save on fuel costs and your overall environmental footprint, with just a few small changes in your driving habits.
 

Drive the speed limit

It makes sense that the faster you drive, the more fuel you use. Starting and stopping quickly and often also increases fuel usage. Maintain your speed by using your cruise control and stay within the speed limits. According to http://www.fueleconomy.gov, you can save up to 14 percent of your fuel usage, or as much as $.52 per gallon of gas just by driving slower speeds.
 

Carpool with others

Save fuel usage by carpooling with others. Going to a wedding reception? Ride along with family or friends. Heading to work? Carpool with coworkers. Dropping the children off at school? Volunteer to take turns taking all of the neighborhood children together. Carpooling saves on gasoline usage, and it also has the added benefit of being an environmentally friendly choice. Fewer vehicles on the road will lead to lower carbon emissions in the air.
 

Combine errands in one trip

Most families have a number of weekly errands. It seems there's always dry-cleaning to pick up, items to take to the post office or business to conduct at the bank. Try to combine all your errands in one trip each week, preventing the need to run out for each individual task. 
 

Ditch the car top carrier

Using a car top carrier can greatly decrease your fuel efficiency. By sitting atop your car, the carrier pushes against the wind as the car moves, which creates resistance. That resistance results in more gas usage. Use a top carrier only when necessary and remove it when it's not needed.
 

Keep it light

Vehicles that weigh less require less fuel to operate. Remove any unnecessary items from your trunk to keep your vehicle at its most fuel-efficient. Take the kids' old sports gear out of the trunk and remove other heavy items stored in your vehicle. The savings may be small, but they add up over time.
 

Consider other transportation

One of the best ways to save on fuel usage is to leave the car parked in the garage and walk or bike to places nearby. Not only will you save on fuel costs, you'll receive the added benefit of exercise.
 
A few small changes in your driving habits can result in larger, more effective changes over time. Consider driving the speed limit, carpooling or walking to save on your monthly fuel budget, all while helping the surrounding environment.
 
 

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