Summer is officially here and with it summer driving season (and high gas price season). As people pack their bags and head to the gas station to fill up for summer vacation, EcoDriving USA, a campaign from the Auto Alliance, is encouraging people to become “EcoDrivers.” EcoDrivingUSA claims that practicing “green driving” produces the highest miles per gallon, regardless of size or age of your car–and can reduce gas use and carbon emissions by as much as 15 percent or more.
You can be on your way to better fuel-efficiency and a smaller carbon footprint by following three simple steps from EcoDrivingUSA and two simple steps from me.
1. Turn off the engine when waiting at a curb. This can save more than half a gallon of fuel for every hour that the car would otherwise have been idling.
2. Maintain proper tire pressure. Tire pressure changes an average of one PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in temp. By keeping your tires properly inflated, you can improve gas mileage by approximately 3 percent earning drivers a “free” tank of gas every year.
3. Avoid rapid starts and stops. This can save more than $1 per gallon according to the EPA while improving fuel economy by up to 33 percent.
4. Use biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel when available. Not only are biofuels less expensive at the pump and can save an average family up to $500 per year, but using a 10 percent ethanol blend (E10) can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20 percent over traditional gasoline and it can increase to more than 80 percent reduction if you use an 85 percent ethanol blend (E85).
5. When your travels require renting a car, choose a vehicle from the rental company’s “green collection.” The green collection features flex-fuel vehicles, hybrid vehicles and in some locations electric cars. These technologies help reduce your carbon footprint and can help increase your fuel economy.
And remember, by following the driving green tips, you can save also save some green.