According to reports, the average American travels in their vehicle an estimated 37 miles each and every day. That is over 13,000 miles per person, per year, which is double the amount we drove 30 odd years ago. Needless to say, such transportation habits can and are having a negative impact on the environment, the roads and the cities in which we live.
But what can we, as individuals, do about the nationwide problem? Well, think about it. We are the people who are on the roads driving, causing the traffic, churning out the harmful emissions, etc. It is our day-to-day driving routines, that most of us have come to accept as “normal”, that are taking a toll on the world around us. Of course, saying that is the case doesn’t always hit home, if you know what I mean. Most people will continue their driving habits and routines regardless.
I want you to take a moment though, to check out the list below and see how many of these 10 money-saving transportation tips you can put into use. Not only are they a way to green your transportation habits, but you’ll save money in the process. I know that is something almost anyone can get behind.
1 – Plan ahead: People often underestimate the power of planning ahead. I’m not just talking about packing or deciding where you are going to eat, etc. I mean taking the time to plan out any trip you take, whether it is to the grocery store or across the country. Know where you want to go, map out your destination (and any stops along the way), group your activities/stops so you are not having to drive out of the way, and more. Doing this will save you time, gas and money.
2 – Let your GPS guide you. Whether you have a global positioning system (GPS) in your vehicle, or you use another form of GPS device, tapping into such technology will help get you to your intended destination. GPS devices can not only give you turn-by-turn directions, but can offer options to avoid traffic, offer time-saving detours, and more.
3 – Perform regular maintenance on your vehicle. Keeping your vehicle well-maintained can save a lot of money, and heart-ache. Regular oil changes, tire rotations, engine tune-ups, filter replacements, and performing other maintenance tests can save you from having to replace parts, from breaking down on the highway, and can actually improve your fuel economy.
4 – Use a proven fuel additive. If you’re looking to improve your fuel economy even further, Green Plus® by Biofriendly Corporation is the way to go. The Green Plus fuel additive is a fully patented, green technology that helps your vehicle burn the fuel more efficiently in order to produce less harmful emissions, get better gas mileage, and improve overall performance.
5 – Lighten your load. While there are some items you should always have in your vehicle, such as an emergency kit, you would be smart to go through your vehicle and see how you can lighten your load. This applies whether you are going on a long trip or short one. If you only keep the necessities in your vehicle, your vehicle’s performance will respond accordingly.
6 – Idling is not the way to go. How many times have you gone through a drive-thru and sat there with your vehicle idling? How many times have you seen parents sitting with their cars idling while they wait for their children? If you are going to be waiting for more than 30 seconds, turn your vehicle off. It will save you money and will cut down on unnecessary pollution. Don’t believe it? Well, check out some of these idling myths.
7 – Another great tip is to ride-share or carpool with co-workers, friends or family. Regardless of where you are going, cutting down on the number of vehicles you use to get there can save a lot. Going to a party? Go with a friend. Going to a family reunion? Drive there with family. Going to work? Share the load with a co-worker. Why spend the extra money and gas when carpooling or ride-sharing is an option?
8 – In some instances, carpooling or ride-sharing may not work for you. If that is the case for you, I recommend looking into public transportation. Again, this works whether you are going to work, going to the beach, going on vacation, or many other destinations. Taking the bus, train, or another form of public transportation can save you money, save the wear and tear on your vehicle, and can be a relaxing way to travel.
9 – Ditch your vehicle at least once a week. Okay, I’ll admit, going cold turkey on your transportation habits may not be something everyone is willing to do. This tip gives you the chance to take it slowly, while still making a difference and saving money. It’s pretty simple really, just ditch your vehicle at least once a week. For one day out of the week, ride your bike, walk, or take public transportation to wherever you need to go. After awhile you’ll probably see the difference, not only in your budget, but in your willingness to find alternatives to driving. Give it try.
10 – Telecommute. These days more and more companies are willing to work with their employees to schedule their work loads and/or allow them to telecommute. Telecommuting has many benefits including saving time, money, gasoline and cutting down on travel times. If telecommuting is available at your job, it may be something you want to consider, even if only part-time.
Image by Jeff Turner / Creative Commons
Nobody wants to waste money while driving or, worse yet, sitting in traffic. I encourage each of you to see how you can implement one or more of the above money-saving transportation tips into your daily routine. Whether you want to save the environment from harmful emissions, you are striving to save yourself a little cash, or a both, a few small changes can make all the difference.