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Driving our cars and other fuel based transportation accounts for over 28% of all end-use energy in the US, and 69% of the total petroleum consumed in the U.S. For that reason alone, we should all do our part to drive as little as possible and demand higher fuel standards for our vehicles. If reducing the amount of carbon emissions that your driving activities are contributing to the atmosphere isn’t enough motivation, then perhaps paying $4.00+ per gallon of gas is a good enough reason to tweak your driving habits to optimize your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
According to the wonderful resource website for finding the cheap gas in your area, GasBuddy.com the top 5 tips for saving fuel are:
1. Avoid High Speeds - As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. Driving 62 mph (100 km/h) vs 75 mph(120 km/h) will reduce fuel consumption by about 15%.
2. Do Not Accelerate or Brake Hard - By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20%.
3. Keep Tires Properly Inflated - Keep tire air pressure at the level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. A single tire under inflated by 2 PSI, increases fuel consumption by 1%.
4. Use A/C Sparingly - When the air conditioner is on it puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used (by about 20%).
5. Keep Windows Closed - Windows open, especially at highway speeds, increase drag and result in decreased fuel economy of up to 10%.
Other smart fuel saving opportunities are to service your vehicle regularly, use cruise control, avoid heavy loads, avoid long idle, and of course, purchase a hybrid, an electric or fuel efficient vehicle, or of course you can always ride your bike and get in shape at the same time... and That's it for this week's TangibleGreen Tip!