The eco-friendly driving guide

To drive or not to drive… that seems to be the question of many environmentally aware car owners. There are over 600 million motor vehicles in the world today and if this rate continues, the number of cars on Earth will double in the next 30 years. That is a lot of cars and a lot of emissions being pumped into our atmosphere – slowly killing the only planet we have. The only thing to do at this point is be aware of the situation and take the initiative to decrease the amount we each contribute. An article passed along to me from EcoTrekker titled The Ultimate Guide to Hypermiling: 100 Driving and Car Tips and Resources lists ways to help protect our planet by making small adjustments to our lives. Below are just a few of the things suggested:

Hypermiling, or driving your car “in a manner that maximizes mileage,” has become more popular among drivers worldwide, as concerns over increasing gas prices and environmental issues heighten. Whether you’re trying to make a difference by helping the environment, or you’re just aiming to save a few more dollars at the pump each month, check out this ultimate guide to hypermiling, which provides tips and resources for smart driving.

  1. Drive a stick shift: If you’re used to driving automatic, switching over to a stick shift might take a little practice, but it’s definitely worth it. Once you have more control over the vehicle, you’ll be able to master more hypermiling tricks.
  2. Stop speeding: The harder you press the gas pedal, the more gas you’re using. If you’re driving over the speed limit, you might save time, but you’re definitely wasting gas and money. Slow down a little if you can so that you’re driving at or just below the actual speed limit.
  3. Get an oil change: Keeping up with scheduled oil changes will help your engine run more easily. Adequate oil levels and lower-weight oil can also make a difference in how quickly your vehicle burns fuel
  4. Check your tire pressure: Tires that are beginning to lose air and go flat put more stress on your engine, making it work harder and burn more fuel. Keep a tire gauge in your car and frequently check the tire pressure.
  5. Ridge Riding: If you want to save gas during or after a hard rain, hug the right side of your lane, or the shoulder if you’re already driving in the far right lane, to avoid driving in the puddles created by other drivers.
  6. Drive in electric mode: Toyota Prius drivers know that driving in the all-electric mode is “advisable” at the very end of a trip because “the batteries will recharge [more] quickly on your next start-up.”
  7. Downhill run: If you’re driving downhill, take your foot off the gas pedal and coast all the way down until you absolutely must brake or give your car a little more gas.

To read all 100 ways to help out visit EcoTrekker!