7 Simple Ways to Drive Green
Recently during a meeting for ExxonMobil shareholders in Dallas, Texas, CEO Rex Tillerson, shocked the public by announcing that an economy that runs on oil is here to stay, and cutting carbon emissions is “a waste of time.” Mr. Tillerson later went on to say, “What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?”
The attendees there seemingly agreed with him. About 75% of Exxon shareholders vetoed a resolution that would necessitate Exxon to set goals for lowering greenhouse gas emissions from its products. Astoundingly, this was the seventh time this resolution has been laid out before them. For Tillerson, profit is clearly the bottom line.
While ExxonMobil might not be in line with trying to better the environment, there are still many things individual drivers can do to drive green while on the road. Purchasing an electric car or hybrid is wonderful and can produce big benefits, but small changes to driving behavior can also produce great results.
1. Drive Sensibly. Aggressive driving, jerky acceleration, and quick stops can lower gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speed and by 5 percent around town, according to the U.S. Dept of Energy. Gentle driving is good for you and for the environment.
2. Slow Down. When cars drive over 55 miles per hour, their fuel efficiency dramatically decreases.
3. Remove Extra Weight. Get rid of all the junk in your trunk! For every 100 pounds carried in the vehicle, your miles per gallon is decreased by two percent. Obviously, pounds carried affecting mileage is relative to size of the vehicle.
4. Plan Ahead. Avoiding rush hour traffic is good for you, your car and the environment. Couple this with combining errands into one big trip and you’ll create fewer emissions with an already warm engine. Furthermore, leaving your car at home two days a week and riding a bike instead cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 1,500 pounds per year.
5. Avoid Idling. Idling uses a quarter to a half gallon of gas per hour. Simply turn off the engine if you idle more than a minute or two. Additionally, on warm days, leave your car in the shade when you can, to sidestep evaporation of fuel and you probably won’t burn yourself on the seatbelt either!
6. Check Your Tires Monthly. Properly inflated tires are a big safety issue. With correct tire pressure, the driver is better able to corner and brake. Also, every three pounds below your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure reduces your fuel economy.
7. Maintain Your Engine. Regular tune ups can save up to four percent on gas mileage. Something else to consider is finding an eco-friendly service station that recycles used fluids or safely disposes on of them.
Creating awareness is the first step to going green. Hopefully more and more people and businesses will jump on the bandwagon. Drive safely!