Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Make Your Driving More Eco-Efficient

[Clean Air Watch periodically publishes guest posts of possible interest.  Today's guest post is by Holly Chavez]

In an Eco-friendly world where we are conscious about preserving the environment, most people want to do all they can to save Mother Earth. However, driving a ‘Green’ vehicle can be costly, and you may not recover your costs when it comes to fuel efficiency for years to come.


Benefits of Green Ownership
There are numerous benefits to owning a Green car or truck. First and foremost, it will emit fewer harmful pollutants into the air, such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. With the decrease in gases, the air is cleaner, and the environment is healthy for all living creatures.

In addition to reducing pollution, Green vehicles are also cost-efficient because they reduce fuel costs. You may also be eligible for insurance, tax and environmental breaks when you drive one.
Green Car Safety 
While some would like to minimize the size of their carbon footprint left on the planet, many are unwilling to compromise safety in the name of conservation. Mini-cars, for instance,  have built up a reputation for having good gas mileage. However, many have some serious hidden dangers if you have an accident, so be sure to check the safety ratings in a crash before you buy. Batteries, electricity and fuel can be volatile, especially in a tiny car. The lighter weight parts can also be a concern, especially when you’re faced with colliding with a big rig or SUV.
Let’s face it, you can do everything right and still have someone plow into you on the freeway, right out of the blue. So, it’s better to consider buying a vehicle which is going to give you and your family the maximum protection in case of an accident.
Instead of placing your life and those you love at risk, and spending outrageous amounts of cash on just the right Green vehicle, here’s a thought. Why not keep the car or truck you currently own and make it more environmentally-friendly instead?
Your Traditional Ride
There are a number of ways that making ‘green decisions’ can score high on Eco-points. If you’re in the market for a new car, you can check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s fuel economy website to get the most for your gas mileage. You can also go to for a list of fuel efficient vehicles. Some vehicles also allow you specific tax breaks when you go with a hybrid. The Internet can also lead you to specific makes and models chosen by Consumer Reports, such as the Toyota Prius.
Before You Hit the Road
There are certain things that you can do before you hit the road, which can help positively impact the planet. Properly inflated tires will offer you a safer ride and improve your gas mileage. Energy conserving motor oil can also give you a smoother ride as well as increasing your miles per gallon. Air filters can clog and become filled with dirt and debris - changing them on a regular basis can improve mileage and help your vehicle run better.
Rely On the Buddy System
If you live in close proximity to your co-workers, you can carpool your way to work. This also comes in handy when you need to run errands or hit the mall. Before you venture out to do your grocery shopping, you can check with neighbors to see if you can share a ride. Try to consolidate your errands into one day’s worth of activities. If you own several vehicles, you should choose the one which offers the best gas mileage.
Driving Habits Matter
Driving over the speed limit can increase the amount of gas you use by as much as 10 cents per gallon, so you need to keep your lead foot off the pedal. If you navigate your way to work by highway, try to use your cruise control as much as possible as it can save on fuel. Excessive car idling and frustration at the traffic can also increase the amount of gas you use, so practice getting your zen on by de-stressing whenever you get into the car.
Before You Commute
If your work hours are flexible, try staggering the time that you get to work by avoiding peak rush hour. Consider taking public transportation whenever it’s possible, and consider telecommuting by working from your home. When you must drive back and forth to work daily, saving energy and making your ride more Eco-efficient is easy when you put a little thought and effort into your plans.
Of course, walking is always another viable way to reduce your carbon footprint. Not only will it allow you to put more money in your bank account, you’ll also be able to whittle away your waistline by walking to your destination instead of driving.
Holly Chavez is a multidisciplinary writer who enjoys sharing articles that help make the earth a better place. She is also a green living writer for and writes about environmental issues facing us today, along with the Eco-friendly solutions to them.

Photo source: © ambrozinio -


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