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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Collins

EcoDriving Saves Gas, Money, and the Earth

Regardless of where your vehicle lies on the fuel-efficiency spectrum, you can still significantly reduce your CO2 emissions by altering the way you drive.

Every gallon of gas burned equals 22 lbs of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The best way to reduce greenhouse gas pollution is to drive less—plan your trips, carpool, bike or walk. If you must drive, EcoDriving significantly decreases your carbon footprint. EcoDriving is a set of learned habits behind the wheel that, with a little vigilance, add up to more money in your wallet and less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Idling Damages Your Engine One of the leading misconceptions in fuel efficiency is that restarting your car uses more gas than letting it idle, when in fact, idling your car for just 10 seconds uses more gas than turning the key and emits 80% more pollution than driving. Idling generates partially combusted gases that accumulate in the engine and do lasting damage.

EcoDriving is Easy By adopting a few simple habits, you could save an average of 20% on fuel expenses each week (as much as $500 per year):

  • Drive slower. In the 1970’s, Federal Law reduced highway speeds from 75 mph to 55 mph, which conserved gasoline by as much as 30%.

  • Be gentle on the pedals. Vehicles use the greatest amount of gas while accelerating. When possible, coast to slow down, rather than braking. For every 10,000 miles driven with cruise control, the savings can amount to $200.

  • Keep your vehicle maintained: Changing the air filter, changing lubricants, and keeping tires inflated can increase fuel efficiency by 19%.

  • Plan your outing – Wandering aimlessly wastes over 350,000 tons of fuel every year. Drivers waste about $59 million due to mis-routing.

  • Drive right away – Unless your car is older than 1970, warming it up is unnecessary. As long as you take it easy on the road for the first 10 minutes of driving, the engine will adjust harmlessly and warm up efficiently.

  • Empty out your trunk. For every 100 lbs additional weight, fuel economy decreases 2%.

EcoDriving has the potential to have a huge impact in the fight against climate change. Saving money is the by-product of driving responsibly. If everyone nationwide practiced EcoDriving, it would be equivalent to heating and powering nearly 8 cities the size of Los Angeles. So if you’re driving, practice EcoDriving. Doing so will lower fossil fuel consumption, reduce emissions, preserve our planet, and save you money.


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