Gas prices are high with the national average hovering around $3.64/gallon for regular grade and around $3.70/gallon in Massachusetts for regular. During the summer months as we drive more for vacations and weekend getaways, it is especially important to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions. Below are tips on how to do that and save money at the same time.
Drive more evenly - “zen” driving I call it. Aggressive, fast driving and rapid acceleration increases emissions, is dangerous and wastes gas, lowering your gas mileage by approximately 33 percent on the highway and by five percent around town. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly above 60 mph, so approximately each five mph over 60 is like paying an additional $.24/gallon. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed.
Get rid of unnecessary heavy items in your vehicle and remove roof racks when not in use. An extra 100 pounds in or on your vehicle can reduce your mpg by up to two percent. This affects smaller vehicles more than large ones.
Idling your car wastes gas and should be avoided. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas idling than do cars with smaller engines. You use about 0.026 gallons of gasoline for every 10 minutes you idle a car, which adds up and releases unnecessary carbon emissions. There is drive through everything today – fast food restaurants, Starbucks, CVS and even dry cleaners. Don’t do it. Instead, park and go in. You’ll save gas and get a little exercise. It’s usually quicker too.
Cut back on your driving. Carpooling, walking when the weather permits and taking public transportation will save lots of gas money. When you are in the market for a new car, consider a fuel-efficient hybrid or one of the new electric ones that are getting lots of buzz. You can always make your own biodiesel if you have a diesel car too. My husband and I use biodiesel.
We can’t control the price of gas, but we can control how much gas we use. It’s time to cut back on our dependence on fossil fuels.
Information compiled from www.fueleconomy.gov.
For more green tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.