Tips for Reducing Gas Consumption

 In Intentions, Natural Resources
Driving

Everyone is now aware of the fact that increased burning of fossil fuels has been linked to climate change and to air pollution, and one of the biggest offenders in this category is the use of automobiles. While most people would find it difficult or impossible to go “car free”, there are a number of things that the average consumer can do to help reduce gas consumption, and helps not only the environment but the pocketbook as well! Reducing consumption generally fits into three broad categories: Altering Travel Practices, Driving Behavior and Vehicle Maintenance, and Choosing a Fuel Efficient Vehicle.

Altering Driving Practices

  • Whenever possible, combine trips when going into town. For instance, if you have grocery shopping, a medical appointment and also need to visit the vet’s, try doing them all in one afternoon to reduce the overall number of journeys that you need to make.
  • If your town or city has public transport, consider using the bus to get you where you need to go. Fares tend to be inexpensive and using it is a good way to promote local efforts to reduce fuel usage.
  • Arrange a carpool with neighbors or co-workers whenever possible to cut down on the overall number of vehicles on the road.
  • Take advantage of bicycle trails that have been developed in many towns and cities and try biking to work or when doing errands.
  • If you are in walking distance of where you need to go, travel on foot instead of by car; this not only reduces gas consumption, it gives you a great workout as well.

Driving Behavior and Vehicle Maintenance

  • Avoid aggressive or overly fast driving: all vehicles lose some fuel efficiency above the rate of 55 miles per hour.
  • Aim for a consistent speed which minimizes fuel-guzzling stops and starts.
  • Minimize the time spent idling, as this can be a big fuel waster.
  • Be sure tires are properly inflated. Tires that are under-inflated greatly reduce fuel efficiency.
  • Whenever possible, store items inside the vehicle rather than a roof rack, which makes the car less aerodynamic and increases fuel use.

Choosing a Fuel Efficient Vehicle

  • When choosing a vehicle, always opt if possible for a car that gets at least 30 miles to the gallon.
  • Avoid buying “gas guzzlers”, large SUV’s and oversized trucks which are fuel inefficient.
  • If you can afford it, consider purchasing a hybrid or electric car instead of a conventional automobile.

Cars dominate our culture and many aspects of our lives — where we live, where we work, how we travel. It is easy to feel helpless in the face of the massive issues that transportation can present. However, following some of the guidelines suggested above can lead to a sense of empowerment, as well as making sense for the average householder both environmentally and economically.

by The Great Gathering
Copyright The Great Gathering 2014©

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