Rising gas prices are all over the news lately, and we're not even at the point where prices typically peak each year. Of course, high gas prices are just one reason to want to maximize fuel efficiency or find alternatives to using that car. Cars are huge polluters. In fact, cars and trucks are the number one cause of air pollution here in the U.S.
So, what can we do to use less fuel, save some cash, and protect the planet?
- Walk or bike for short errands instead of getting behind the wheel.
- Take public transit. New to public transportation? Google Transit is an excellent tool for planning car-free trips.
- Carpool when you can. Whether you're headed to work, school, or errands, see if you can find a buddy who's headed in the same direction.
- Coast when possible. When you do have to drive, keep your foot off of that gas pedal when you can. If you're headed down a hill, coast instead of hitting the accelerator. You can also coast as you approach a red light. It's easier on your brakes if you're going more slowly when you apply them, and you'll save some fuel to boot.
- Don't idle. That includes waiting in the car and even at long stop lights. If you don't drive a hybrid and are going to be stopped for more than 1 minute, turn the car off. In cold weather, it's not necessary to "warm up" the engine, and it's not even good for the engine to do so.
- Turn off the A/C while you're driving around town, but roll up those windows when you hit the highway. The A/C saps your car's fuel, but when you hit highway speeds, the extra drag from open windows ends up being more of an energy suck.
What are some other ways that you can save on fuel to help the environment and beat rising gas prices?
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by carol.am