You have to get to work, school, and run your errands one way or another. The decisions that you make about your daily mode of transport has a huge impact on your ecological footprint. There are a lot of things you can do to lessen this impact. Here are my favorites from Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style by Christie Matheson. Remember to leave your favorites in the comments for a chance to win a copy of the book.
1. Drive Less, Walk More
For every mile that you don’t drive, you keep almost a pound of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
If your job, school, or favorite coffee shop is less than a mile each way, you should try to walk. If you are going to a friend’s house that is nearby, walk or ride your bike.
If you live in an area where everything is within walking distance, you could live without a car or if your family has two cars downsize to one. (I absolutely agree – our family only has one car and it’s easier than you would think.) You can walk, ride your bike, take public transportation, or telecommute.
So what if you need a car to get somewhere outside of the city or to go away for the weekend?
You could get a ride with a friend, rent a car, or take the train or bus. For trips where public transportation isn’t an option, check out ZipCar. You reserve the car online, go straight to the car, open it with your passcode, and drive away. Gas and insurance are included in the price.
2. Keep Your Tires Pumped Up
Check your car manual for the pressure that your tires should be at and fill them to that point. For every 3 pounds of pressure less than what is recommended, you lose 1% of the fuel efficiency.
3. Replace Your Air Filters
Make sure to check your filters monthly and change them every 12k miles. Clean filters can increase your fuel efficiency by 10%.
4. Drive Right
Going from 0-60 in 3 seconds flat can cause you to lose up to 30% of your fuel efficiency. For every 5 miles that you exceed 60 miles an hour, you lose 5-6% fuel efficiency as well.
5. Don’t Be Idle
If you are sitting still with the car running, you are getting 0 miles to the gallon. You can burn through 3/8 of a gallon in a 1/2 hour. If you are going to be sitting idle for longer than 30 seconds, kill the engine.
How do you green your transportation?