Driving Green – Is There Such A Thing

Well, Driving Green consists of ideas you have probably heard at some point in your driving past. Driving green is a phrase that suggests using driving habits that promote positive effects on the environment. It is true that we in the U.S. have grown real comfortable about hopping in the car whenever to go wherever. But, in light of increasing gas prices and efforts many people are finally making changes to their driving habits, now might a good time to refresh what you already know about how to drive green.
The following are driving habits and techniques to improve your gas mileage. You might not like some of the suggestions that follow. Well, I got it. However, it’s your choice to take them on or keep paying more at the pump.

Driving Green – How Do I Do It?

Plan your errands. There are several things you can do in this department. First, don’t run errands during lunch hour. The roads are very crowded during lunch hour with others running errands and getting a bite to eat. Pack your lunch or walk to a place nearby. Sitting in traffic at lunch has to be one of the biggest time and gas wasters.

Second, take some real time to plan your errands. Combine your errands into a bigger trip. Also, don’t run too many errands during rush hour as it usually congested and takes extra time. The exception to this would be if you were making a stop along the way home from work and you didn’t have to go out of your way.

Look at where you have to go on your errands and map out your route with only taking right hand turns whenever possible. Left hand turns make you wait for either turning lane lights or on coming traffic to clear. At least with a right hand turn in most locations and intersections you can turn right on red when it is safe to turn.

Slow down. I don’t like this one much myself, but I find myself slowing down the speed of my car just a little. This does two things for me: it saves my brakes just a little bit and it improves my gas mileage. I have heard it from several sources in the past that dropping your speed 10 miles per hour from say 75 mph to 65 mph helps improve gas mileage nearly 10%. I don’t know if this is for all cars, but certainly it has to make some difference to reduce speed.

If you have to run your AC, don’t turn it on right away. Drive a little bit with the windows cracked and the vents open. This will allow your AC to start working with less hot air in the car. Also, the longer you can go without the AC the less gas you will use.

Stop Jackrabbit starts. How many times did you parents tell you that when you were learning to drive. Need I say more. Jackrabbit starts wastes gas and causes your car to be far less efficient at pollution control which is bad for the environment.

I hate to offer this one but here goes – think ahead. Look down the road a bit. Do you see a red light? If so, take your foot off the gas and coast. There is no need to get to the stopped cars before the light turns green. Avoiding a stop does a lot for improving gas mileage. You don’t have to use any gas to get the car started again. And using gas to start moving the car is less efficient for gas usage so avoid stopping if you can.

You will also save your brakes this way. Saving brakes means less brake pad material rubbing off and getting into the air. You may have just rolled your eyes on this one, but think about it – ever smelled tractor trailer brakes on a mountain road? Did you know that you’re breathing in asbestos and other dusty particulates with that smell? Same thing for braking with your car. If everyone planned ahead and slowed down early we’d save money on brake replacements, gas mileage and breathe less polluted air.

Stop being a pack rat. Clean out your car. Getting rid of the extra weight in your car can make a difference in your gas mileage over time.