Use your wallet to change the world in little steps. Buy organic food, especially in season. Look for recycled or undyed paper goods like paper towels, writing paper, and wrapping paper. Recycled clothing items, like jeans and shoes are becoming easier to find. You might pay more at times, but prices should even out as demand increases.
For starters, I’m going to buy more organic fruit this season, and look for undyed tissues, which we use all the time. What changes can you make to your buying habits?
Tire pressure is like drinking caffeine. Too little and your car is sluggish- using about 0.4 % more gas for every psi
(pounds per square inch) under the recommended number. Too high and the
over-inflated tires will make the car rattle and shake.
So maintain the correct air pressure in your tires. You can find the psi number on the driver’s door jamb or user’s manual. It’s usually around 32-34.I check my tires at home with a little pressure checker thingy. Gas stations do have machines, usually in a corner somewhere, and either broken or with a line of people waiting. See, you’re not alone! Take a couple of minutes to save gas– and have a safer ride too!
Owners will privately admit it: the minivan is the Car You Hate to Love. Believe me, I was not an initial fan. But we have lots of family members to transport. Kids to carpool. Stuff to haul. When we had a little ole pontoon boat, we’d hitch it right up. The minivan does it all, and with better gas mileage than most SUVs.
Here’s the secret to saving gas: commit to driving more often than your non-van friends and family. Because you can. And you’ll take 1-3 cars off the road every time you do! If for some reason you feel super-uncool, just tell people it’s a loaner or your grandpa’s car as everyone piles in for the office lunch/football game/guy’s weekend. It ‘s the most comfortable party car around.
Dead set against owning a minivan? When you buy your next car, give priority to those with higher gas mileage. And carpool whenever you can. I’m happy to give you a ride.
We all have to do it- wait in the car. At school or sports. Picking up friends and family. In line at the bank or for fast food.
If your engine is running while you’re waiting, it’s generating harmful emissions- and everyone around you is breathing them in. (FYI- children are more at risk because their lungs are developing). Turn the engine off instead, even if just for a minute or two. Idling for 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
Idling adds up. According to an EDF report, in New York City idling cars and trucks (going nowhere) crank out 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year.
So next time you’re idling, make sure your engine isn’t!
The bottom line: the less you drive, the less you pollute. So do a little planning and combine your car trips to save time and gas. Swing by the grocery on the way back from the gym (my personal favorite), or stop at the bank after work. See how many errands you can get into one outing. Sound simple? Because it is.
According to the US Department of Transportation, the average driver is out on the road about 1,000 miles a month That’s a lot of time in the car!
What is the most polluting activity that many of us do every day? Driving.
Cars, trucks, and other transportation are the biggest contributor to air pollution in the US. When vehicles burn gasoline they create nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and other pollution. This dirty air is harmful to people and the environment, both locally and globally.
According to the US EPA, new cars are 75-90% less polluting per mile than cars from 1970. But today more people drive than ever before. And air pollution from cars is even higher in urban areas– and the highest near major highways.
Over the next couple of posts, explore how to drive- and pollute- less. I wish my kids could telecommute for their after school activities, but apparently it doesn’t work that way!