We all want to save money. What if you could not only save money, but also help the environment at the same time? With gas prices always fluctuating—and usually increasing—your driving expenses are a great place to save some green! We’ve provided some easy tips to help with gas efficiency, saving you both time and money at the pump and helping the environment by reducing gas emissions.
1. Junk in the Trunk Do you have a ski or bike rack attached to the car? Do you have a trunk full of stuff? Take it off or get it out! Removing excess weight will lighten your car, therefore improving the gas efficiency of any vehicle.
2. Pump it Up
Make sure all four of your tires are properly inflated. This improves your car’s performance and gas efficiency. Also, when you’re replacing your tires, look for low-rolling-resistance (LRR) tires, which are specially designed to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy.
3. Slow and Steady
As you’re driving along, be more like the tortoise than the hare. Speeding up and then slamming on your brakes is not only terrible for your brake pads but it also hurts the environment, and your gas economy. Flooring it for just a few seconds can give off more emissions than driving regularly for a half an hour.
4. Top it Off
When filling your tank – less frequently because of all the green driving tips you’re following – there are a few things to keep in mind.
Use regular gas unless your car’s manual states you need premium, because otherwise it does not do anything for your performance or fuel economy.
Don’t over fill past the automatic mechanism. This is bad for the environment because the gas vapors will escape your car and go into the air. This is also bad for your wallet because many gas pumps are now equipped to control the gas vapors from escaping into the air and will instead go back into the station’s tanks. When you fill past the line, the extra gas will go back this same way into the station’s tank but you are still charged for it.
Don’t spill the gas on the ground. One, that’s gas you’ve paid for that’s going to waste. Two, that gas gets washed into the local water or evaporates into the air, creating pollution.
5. Take Care
Make sure you’re taking care of your car and getting regular tune ups. This will certainly help your wallet in the long run, not only in regards to the gas tank but over the entire life of your car.
Get a tune up because the harder your car has to work, the less gas efficient it will be.
Try to keep your car out of extreme temperatures. In the summer, try to park in the shade and use a windshield cover. This will help by not needing to blast the air conditioning, which uses gas. Also, the liquid in the AC itself is bad for the environment. In the winter, allow your car some time to warm up before you hit the road and use a windshield protector to keep the ice off. Simple upkeep will keep your wallet fatter and car driving longer.
6. The More the Merrier
Carpooling and car sharing are among the greenest ways to save the environment and money. Surely some of your coworkers live nearby, or perhaps a few neighbors work near your office. Why not join forces and split the gas fees, as well as the lower your individual carbon footprint?
Many companies are supporting these efforts and will reward employees; some even have a bus for their employees in certain areas. Look into what your company does or perhaps talk to your boss about starting a program. It never hurts to help the environment!
If you really want to make an impact, there are, of course, even greener living ideas such as telecommuting and four-day workweeks or trading in for a hybrid. But remember that even small steps, like the simple tips we mentioned here, all add up to a big difference in protecting the environment–and your wallet.