Go Green, Save Money, Save the Earth: Driving

Kim Hornung-Marcy

February 04, 2022

With these tips you can drive in a way that lowers emissions and saves you money!
  1. Minimize idling. Turn your car off if parked for more than 10 seconds. Idling uses a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour.  In winter most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after 30 seconds, your car will warm up faster by being driven, which allows heat to turn on sooner, decreases your fuel costs and reduces emissions.  Idling reduces air quality for whomever is near your car.
  2. Speeding, rapid acceleration and hard breaking lower your gas mileage by 15% to 30% on the highway and 10% to 40% in city driving.  Driving over 50 mph gas mileage drops rapidly.  Every five miles over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.22 per gallon of gasoline.
  3. Reduce drag by placing items inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks. Items on a roof rack decrease your fuel economy by 8% in the city and up to 25% on the highway.
  4. Avoid keeping heavy items in your vehicle. Every extra 100 pounds increases your gas costs up to $.03 cents per gallon.
  5. Combine errands. Several short trips, each one taken from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. 
  6. Check into telecommuting, carpooling, public transit and biking or walking. These options save even more.
Tips from www.energy.gov. Savings assume $3.15 a gallon gasoline.

To read other columns by Rev. Hornung-Marcy, click on her name above.