Biofriendly Fuel Conservation Tips We All Can Use
With gasoline prices between $5.00-$6.00/gallon here in California, I figured now would be a good time to talk about fuel conservation tips. So, in this month’s Biofriendly DIY, we’re going over actions you can take to help reduce your fuel consumption and make your travels a little more biofriendly.
With the holidays coming up, we’re all going to want a few tips to help minimize fuel consumption and lower vehicle emissions. In all honesty, many of these tips can be used by those driving electric and hybrid vehicles, too. Why? Simply because the fewer vehicles on the roads, the better, right?
Ride-share or Carpool As the Norm, Not the Exception
Many people consider ride-sharing or carpooling as something they do only on occasion. In actual fact, both of these could be done on a regular basis. Why shouldn’t co-workers carpool to work? Can you imagine how much less traffic there would be if parents carpooled to and from school? What about if people opting for ride-sharing rather than having to own and drive their person vehicle all the time?
If less vehicles are on the road, we’ll have less harmful emissions and less traffic. Plus, ride-sharing and carpooling is a simple way to conserve fuel.
Opt for Public Transportation Whenever You Can
If you really want to conserve fuel, consider riding public transportation more often. Yes, it might require you to do a little research to figure out schedules and routes, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Riding the bus or train can save you money, give you a little time to yourself during your commute, help ease traffic and reduce the volume of harmful emissions released into the environment. It’s beneficial all around.
Lighten Your Load
When you do need to drive your own vehicle, be sure to remove any unnecessary items so as to lighten your load. Some people tend to keep, or accumulate, items in their cars over long periods of time. Not only is this unnecessary, but it weighs the vehicle down unnecessarily. So, get rid of anything you don’t need to have in your car.
In addition, if you have items on the roof of your car, take them off if you aren’t planning to use them at your intended destination. Anything which could possibly reduce your vehicle’s aerodynamic properties is not going to aid in improve fuel efficiency and conservation.
Combine Weekly Errands Into Fewer Trips
Running errands during the week is something almost all of us have to do at one point or another. However, in order to save yourself a little time, money and conserve on fuel, you might want to combine your errands into fewer trips. Instead of running off to the store on Monday, dry cleaner on Tuesday, pharmacy on Wednesday and pet store on Thursday, do all of your errands in a single day. Plan your route ahead of time, then go from one to the next, to the next and back home. It’s simple, but it helps.
Ease Up On the Gas Pedal
You may have noticed, some people tend to have a “lead foot” when it comes to driving. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to help when it comes to fuel conservation.
Did you know the U.S. Department of Energy states there is an ideal range of speed to make your vehicle more fuel efficient? It’s true. Traveling between 30-60 mph is more fuel efficient than driving at higher or lower speeds.
In addition, how you accelerate and decelerate can impact your fuel consumption as well. Gradually stepping on the gas and/or brake to get to your desired speed will make for a smoother drive and help with fuel consumption.
Let Cruise Control Be Your Friend
Along the lines of staying within a better range of speed while driving, you should consider letting your cruise control be your friend. While driving on long stretches of highway, instead of constantly stepping on the gas and brake, let the cruise control work for you. It is designed to help reduce rapid acceleration and deceleration so as to improve fuel efficiency. If your car has it, give it a try.
Change Your Idling Habits
Idling is a tremendous waste of gas. Try to avoid it whenever possible. Instead of sitting in your car, with the engine running, turn your vehicle off instead.
If you’re worried about having to sit in your vehicle when the weather is too hot or too cold, adjust your plans so you don’t have to be in your car too long. For example, if you are going to pick up a friend, arrange on a set time and then leave so you arrive just in time to pick them up. If you’re waiting in line at a drive-thru, or at your kid’s school, turn off your vehicle while you wait and then turn it on again when you’re ready to go. Doing this means you’ll use less gas.
Changing your idling habits is a simple, but smart, way to conserve fuel.
Utilize Your GPS to Get Your Where You Need to Go
We’re all probably guilty of spending time driving around looking for a location rather than simply using our GPS or a map to get us there. The problem with this is we waste gas in doing so. You can conserve fuel by utilizing your GPS to get you where to need to go. If you don’t have a GPS in your car, use your phone. Find out where you need to go ahead of time and then plug in the address to find the quickest route.
Be Sure to Keep Your Vehicle Properly Maintained
Proper vehicle maintenance not only helps improve the performance of your vehicle, but it can contribute to fuel conservation, too. Make sure you change your oil when it needs to be changed. Rotate your tires routinely and keep them properly inflated. Get the fluids in your vehicle checked and filled so you never run low. Have your brakes and brake pads checked. Change your air filters on a regular basis so they don’t get clogged up. Each of these actions, and more, can help your vehicle run more efficiently and thus help you conserve fuel.
Plan Staycations and Local Adventures
Those who are planning vacations can conserve fuel by opting for local adventures or staycations instead. There’s no reason to drive, or fly, hundreds of miles away when you can have an exciting vacation at home or nearby. You might not even realize all of the destinations you have in your own “backyard”.
Is there a local show you’ve always wanted to see? What about a museum you’ve wanted to visit? Are there holiday exhibits around town you’ve never realized where there? You might be surprised when you take a look. See what activities and adventures you can plan nearby and chose one or more of those instead.
Even if you want to simply unplug and spend some “me time” at home. I say, go for it! You can have a DIY spa day, camp in your living room or backyard, have story time or movie night under the stars, go for a walk to see all the holiday lights and more. The options are available.
When it comes to fuel conservation, it’s just something you need to put your attention on. If you think about how you can use less gas (and save money), then you’ll come up with some good ideas on how to do so. Don’t put fuel conservation into your plans and it won’t happen. It’s no more complex than that.
We hope you’ll use some of our biofriendly fuel conservation tips. We’d also like to hear some of your fuel conservation tips and ideas. Let us know.