Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Georgia Interfaith Power and Light has lots of resources for living faithfully and lightly on the earth. A Newsletter to receive on what is happening in Georgia and ideas for others to use.
The web site has resources and things we can do. Here is an article on saving gas:

In the face of steeply rising gas costs, we figured everyone could use some tips on how to spend less on gas. And of course, the best way to spend less is to use less. So here are some ideas to help you use less gas, which will not only help your pocket book, but will also help protect God’s creation! Feel free to pass them on to your friends and neighbors.

· Don’t drive – Of course, the easiest way to stop using gas is to stop driving. This has the added benefit of improving your health with physical activity and reducing your stress levels by not having to fight traffic.
· Walk, run, or skate to close by destinations.
· Use a bicycle for places farther away.
· Hop on public transportation for longer trips.
· Telecommute to work. You save gas, and you can work in your bathrobe.

· Drive less –
· Combine trips. Plan out where you need to go on a particular day and try to get all your trips out of the way at once rather than making separate ventures to the grocery store, post office, mall, etc.
· Carpool with friends rather than all driving separately. Not only do you save gas, you have company!

· Drive smarter –
· Lift your right foot. Lay off the accelerator. Fuel efficiency drops off precipitously at speeds above 60 mph. According to the US Department of Energy, each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.15 per gallon for gas. Obey the posted speed limit on highways.
· Drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle. If you are in the market for a new car, or if you have a choice of vehicles to drive, pick the one with the best gas mileage.
· Don’t idle. When your car is idling, you are getting 0 miles per gallon. Avoid the drive-thru; just park and walk in. Try to stagger your work hours and drive at times when there is less traffic, so you won’t just be sitting there burning gas. Your stress level will also go down.
· Don’t drive aggressively. Accelerate at a moderate pace, don’t go for jackrabbit starts. Avoid sudden braking.
· Don’t carry a lot of extra baggage. Heavy loads will decrease gas mileage. As well, carrying things on top of your car will increase drag, which severely decreases fuel efficiency.
· Cool yourself wisely. Running the air conditioner uses gas, but having the windows open can increase drag. When driving around town, turn off the A/C and roll down the windows. At highway speeds, roll up your windows and use A/C, but only as needed.

· Maintain your car – A well-tuned car is a more fuel-efficient car.
· Check your tire pressure. Underinflated tires reduce your fuel economy.
· Get a tune up. Replacing dirty air filters and worn spark plugs can help your engine run more efficiently, as can using the correct grade of motor oil.
· Check your mileage. Keeping track of the number of miles you travel on a tank of gas will help you tell if something is causing your mileage to drop. When you fill up, check your odometer and figure how many miles you have traveled since your last fill-up. Divide that by the amount of gas you put in the tank and voila! There’s your gas mileage. Once you get in the habit of doing this, you’ll be able to tell quickly if something is lowering your gas mileage.

Want more tips on saving gas? Check out http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/drive.shtml

2 comments:

Chip Johnson+, cj said...

Ann,

Great tips!
One advantage of living in a small town is the ability to accomplish almost all business afoot.
And a tip my old Michigander dad stressed about our driving habits when we were young and beginning to use the family car: "Drive as though you had a raw egg taped to the sole of your foot"; easy on the gas, easy on the brake...makes everything, gas included last longer.

Ann said...

Thanks. And you can always make scrambled eggs on your radiator (do cars still have them?) if you step too hard. Seriously -- good idea.