|November 26, 2010||Posted by simply stephen under energy||
A vehicle is one of the least environmentally friendly inventions – ever. It consumes fossil fuel, emits carbon, contributes to consumption and the vehicle itself involves production of parts and units. Production of more vehicles or green friendly vehicles is not a solution in itself. After all, creating alternatives but creating more of them is […]
A vehicle is one of the least environmentally friendly inventions – ever.
It consumes fossil fuel, emits carbon, contributes to consumption and the vehicle itself involves production of parts and units. Production of more vehicles or green friendly vehicles is not a solution in itself. After all, creating alternatives but creating more of them is just creating more stuff. And more stuff is still a greater footprint!
A vehicle in many circumstances, is a way of life. In some places it is sometimes a necessary evil. I drive a vehicle. My justification is based on cost and vast distances between friends and family. My footprint is still lower than ONE person.
you can reduce your footprint and save money
Creating green driving habits can help you save money. Choosing what vehicle you drive and how you drive can make a big difference to your global footprint.
Here are some guidelines when driving:
- efficient vehicle – choosing a more efficient car is a one of the best ways to reduce your car running costs and emissions by up to 30% and that could account to $1000’s of dollars per year. Driving a manual transmission will save a small amount of money on fuel but will also reduce your maintenance cost.
- car pooling – sharing a ride when you go to work or away for business is a great way to drive. It gets cars off the roads, lowers congestion and also lessens your footprint. That multiplies it by the number of people pooling. Now there’s an impact. Some municipalities and companies provide commuter programs but there are web based options to facilitate your car pool.
- ride sharing – Did you know that you can actually share a car? Maybe you actually don’t need that second or first car if all you want to do is take short trips or go away on the weekend. You can catch a one off ride at places like Craigslist or Kijiji or share a vehicle permanently.
- driving habits – by changing how you drive you can improve the maintenance on your car and how you drive by almost 40% depending on how you drive to begin with. The basic changes – a more gentle foot (anticipate and have a more gentle stop), turn your car off when you idle, use cruise control, lower your driving speed according to one extensive driving test. If you made moderate changes to your driving at an average of 20% savings in fuel consumption you could save $500 plus a year in gas!
- car maintenance – regular tuneups, fully inflated tires, changing your air filters and using the right oil can make a difference of 40% fuel efficiency but also reduces the pollutants dramatically.
- air resistance – sometimes the not so obvious things, like removing your roof or bike rack forgetting rid of unnecessary weight in your vehicle is a forgotten trick to improve your efficiency. It also makes for a safer vehicle.
- trip planning – the time of day and route that you take will not only stress you out less but provides a more efficient way to drive with more time and money saved. Organize your route. Do all your chores at once. Tag along with a friend. Make a difference.
- companies & products – choosing a company with a good track record is a big way to make changes. Try avoiding gas companies and suppliers with a really bad track record. Check out green consumer guides to make sure no greenwashing is taking place. Things to consider – how they dispose products and what products provide an eco-friendly choice, such as synthetic oil and green air filters. Speak with your wallet.
- comfort – roll down your windows, get a shade cover or park in the shade. Limit the time you warm up your car. These little things help.
- fuel costs – did you know gas buddy exists to help you find the best fuel prices
- don’t drive – get a bike or walk for anything local (say within 1km/mile of home). The side benefit is a bit of exercise.
- work arrangements – if you telecommute or reduce your workweek the number of times you need to drive into work saves money, time and also improves your quality of life with increased personal and family time.
Many tips and tricks exist – just do a search in your favourite engine (sorry).
And remember driving awake greatly increases your awareness on how you drive. Safe driving is not just about the vehicle.