12 Tips to Save Gas, Save Money, Save the Planet

Even though the price of gasoline has come down from the record highs of the summer of 2008, it is important to remain conservatively minded. The benefits are not simply economic in nature. The environment would also benefit from decreased automobile emissions as a result of less gasoline usage. These 12 tips will help decrease gasoline usage and the environmental damage that results.

Driver Characteristics

  • Avoid rapid acceleration and deceleration. Aggressive driving with rapid starts and stops will reduce gas mileage by up to 30 percent.
  • Do not rev the engine. Revving the engine does absolutely nothing to move the vehicle from point A to point B. It simply wastes gasoline. Enough said.
  • Watch your speed. Once the speed of a car is over 40 miles per hour, the resistance caused by the wind increases significantly. Driving 55 miles per hour on the highway will provide 21 percent better gas mileage than driving 65.
  • Use cruise control whenever possible.
  • Don?'t allow vehicle to idle longer than one minute. Consider getting out of the car instead of going through the drive-thru window at fast food restaurants and banks to save gas.

Vehicle Characteristics

  • Keep tires properly inflated.
  • Keep car in tune. Using the proper grade of oil and keeping the car in working mechanical order will allow it to work most efficiently.
  • Remove excess weight. Avoid carrying extra and unnecessary weight in the trunk such as golf clubs. The more weight the vehicle has to carry, the more work that is required resulting in lower gas mileage.

Other Useful Tips

  • Don?'t warm engine for long periods. This is similar in principle to allowing the vehicle to idle for too long.
  • Combine trips as much as possible. Plan ahead to avoid making multiple trips. Stop at the grocery store on the way home from work.
  • Consider car pooling if possible. Car pooling has the potential to save a significant amount of gasoline.
  • Bike or walk. Biking or walking is good for your health as well as the environment.

If everyone with an automobile would follow several of these ideas and suggestions, a lot of gasoline usage could be eliminated along with the associated environmental damage due to the emissions.

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