CARZ FOR GIRLZ: Being More Green With the Car You Have Now
Contrary to all the kudos for electric engines, you don't have to drive a hybrid to show you care about the harmful emissions. Even if you're stuck with – or totally loving – a gas-guzzling SUV, truck or sedan, you can still make a difference: It's all about how you drive with what you drive. We know this!
So before you think you aren't all that green at heart, get armed with our helpful facts and behaviors to back up your low carbon footprint case. You might end up being more environmentally conscience than your whole math class combined – here's to Being More Green With the Car You Have Now:
Carpool to not just to parties, but to school, practice & other places. This is a no-brainer – just that it takes some behavioral changes to make it a daily habit. You'll probably make better friends in the process, so the pluses for changing a thing or two far outweigh the inconvenience.
Slow your driving down. It's completely true if you follow speed limits, cruise behind other cars, coast at slower speeds down hills, avoid acceleration you'll save gas – it actually called "hypermiling." You can get as much as 30 percent better gas mileage if you put these tips to practice. And I'm not suggesting you drive like a granny …
Master your routes and improve them. This kind of matches our point above, but a good one to single out: If you know the dips, turns, stop lights, and traffic to your usual driving routes, there should be no reason for constant braking and acceleration or getting stuck in long car lines – all the things that suck up time, money and resources. Why go through this again and again when you don't have to?
Combine your errand trips. Try and compartmentalize your errands that require driving into one day instead of racing across town three times for those little things you forgot you needed.
Quit idling and just cut the engine. Did you know idling could loose up to a gallon of gas an hour? I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of money to burn in my gas tank.
Park to avoid long car lines. This is especially helpful for fast-food joints. I know that line at Taco Bell can get long after hours – I don't think there's a law that says customers can't walk through the drive-in line, so park it!
Clean pounds out of your car. Golf clubs, softball equipment, school play props – heavy items can weigh your car down, which in turn can use more gas and thus emit more harmful emissions. The only thing in the trunk should be the spare!
Regular tune-ups. Don't like this part? Get mom or dad to help out. You want to make sure your tires are properly filled up and air filters are clean.
Air Conditioning 101. Using the AC takes a tool on a car. Use a sun reflector. Roll down windows. These ideas helps your health too, as heat releases harmful organic compounds can be released from upholstery, plastics and other components inside your vehicle.
What you really get out of being more green – aside of helping out with the big world picture – is new habits you can personally afford. Money is freed up for other things, like a greener car, which you can find here on The Auto Channel!
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More to come, I promise..Ilyse