DrivingWe all need to travel to get somewhere. Reducing our carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) is one of the biggest steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint.

Unless you live centrally in a large city with a great transportation system of subways, trains and buses, your vehicle is likely your primary source of transportation. Here are some tips on how to save gas and drive greener. Most are in the easy category. Easy

 

  • Check the air pressure of your tires. Properly inflated tires reduce the amount of fuel you use and saves you money.
  • Plan your trips. Make a list of your stops and what you need at each one. It’s annoying to get home and realize you forgot something. Then you have to go out again. A waste of time, fuel, and money.
  • Can you carpool? Even if you can carpool once a week, it makes a difference.
  • Maintain your vehicle. Get scheduled maintenance done. Change the oil and the filter. This improves fuel efficiency. Again you’ll save on gas and reduce emissions.
  • Avoid idling. Studies show that idling for more than 30 seconds, uses more fuel than if you turned off your engine and started it again.
  • Maintain a steady speed. Use the cruise control on the highway to save fuel.
  • Drive at the posted speed. This also reduces the amount of fuel burned.
  • Reduce drag. When not needed, remove roof racks which create wind resistance.

Here’s a chart by Green Driving USA showing how much you can save by implementing some of these tips.

 

What will your next vehicle be? Whenever you change vehicles to one with better gas mileage, you improve your fuel economy and decrease your CO2 emissions. Green Car

Hybrid vehicles are becoming more popular especially in urban areas due to their fuel efficiency. In some models, you can cover 70 miles on one gallon of fuel.  Hybrid vehicles run on a combination of gas and rechargeable batteries which power an electric motor. A built-in computer does all the switching between the batteries and the gas engine. The batteries recharge as you drive.  This can improve efficiency by 50%.

Take On The ChallengeEven if a hybrid is not on your shopping list, evaluate the size of car you need. Check the CO2 rating.

Use the vehicle eco calculator to compare vehicles based on purchase price, fuel economy, price of fuel and mileage driven each year. Canada has a similar eco calculator.

If you are considering an electric vehicle for in town commuting and wondering if you’ll save on fuel, check this post for the answer.

 

Alternative Transportation

When alternative transportation is mentioned, most people think of the bicycle. It was our choice as kids. Now it’s just a fun outing, if we still ride at all. If you haven’t been bicycle shopping for years, you may be surprised. Riding Bicycle

Bicycles have improved in both performance and comfort. Some have electric motors.

A form of sustainable transportation is the ideal. A trikke comes close to this. A trikke is a three wheeled vehicle resembling a scooter. You stand upright and shift your weight to make the trikke move.  Here’s a video showing how to ride a trikke.

 

I was ready to get on a trikke after watching this lesson. My biggest disappointment was where I live. There isn’t a wonderful long, flat route to ride. The terrain is rolling hills, not too high but not trikke friendly. Then I came across this next video of a trikke with an electric motor.

 

This is more my style. Gives me the power for the hills, can still be powered manually, folds up for convenient storage. The range is ten miles on a charge costing only 4 cents. Now that’s sustainable transportation that’s fun. Get Involved