In the past, I have often encouraged many of you to find alternative sources for transportation in an effort to reduce your environmental impact. I am still a big believer in this and I urge you all to try to adjust your habits to eco-friendly. However, I also know, that not everyone is in a situation where they can leave their car at home and get to all of the places they need. Some of you live in the country and have a big commute in on the weekdays or your kids sports programs are at the other end of the city. But don’t fret, hope is not lost. There are ways you can still save money and the planet when it comes to gas.
The Consumer Federation of America, in a recent article shared a few ways that we can do just that; be green and save money. Here is what they had to share:
1. Check your air filter regularly. Did you know that a clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by 10%?
2. Align your tires. If you car’s tires are misaligned, they wear out faster and make your engine work harder. If you take the time to ensure your tires are straight, you can save yourself 20 cents to the gallon.
3. Regular check up. Just like the doctor’s office, many of us don’t want to have to go to the mechanic just to hear him say, “your car needs a new engine and it will cost you______”. However, by ignoring this check up you are actually putting yourself in a situation where your car will not run optimally, which wastes gas. A regular check up on your car can improve your mileage by 4%. The more miles you gain the farther your gas goes which means, less gas equals less eco-impact.
4. Check your tire pressure. Did you know that more than 1/4 of vehicles have deflated tires. Deflated tires can loose you almost 3% in fuel efficiency.
5. Check your gas cap. Now this was one even I didn’t think of. Apparently, 17% of cars on the road have broken or missing gas caps. Why does this matter? Well, the fumes leak out which cause you a loss of money and it releases smog causing compounds into the air. A proper gas cap with limit air pollution and save you money on mileage.
6. Say no to speed. Did you know that for every 5mph you reduce your highway speed you reduce fuel consumption by 7%? So put your egos aside and start driving at lower speed. Mother nature and your wallet with thank you.
7. Don’t ride the breaks. I know many people that do this as old habit but riding the breaks causes your break pads to wear out sooner which means more stops at the mechanic which costs you money. It also increases you gas consumption by 35%.
8. Reduce your loads. Who doesn’t love a family road trip? It is often cheaper than buying those plane tickets, but only if you pack light. For every extra 100 pounds of stuff you carry in your vehicle, you lose 2% in fuel efficiency. If you can minimize what you pack, your gas will go farther.
9. Turn your car off. How many of you head to the grocery store just to have one person wait by the door with the car on while the other person grabs the list of items? I know we have even been guilty of this. Idling causes pollution and wastes gas. You can save 1 cent per gallon for every three minutes you decide not the idle.
As you can see there are many ways we can save money on fuel and help out mother nature. The best part of this list is it is realistic. You are not being told to go buy a better mileage car or walk 4 hours a day. Just a few simple changes can make a huge impact.
So, are you going to give these 9 tips a try? What have you done to reduce your mileage and save the planet?