Eco-driving doesn’t have to cost a penny. And you don’t have to resort to hypermiling to increase your fuel economy, either. It is simple and free to drive more sustainably. Why shouldn’t green driving be the norm? It should.
Greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector are increasing in California and elsewhere. To reduce both your greenhouse gas (climate change) and particulate matter (air quality) emissions, you could buy an electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid. But you don’t have to. In fact, you don’t have to spend a dime. Even better, you’ll actually save money on gas! That’s a win-win.
Here are 5 sustainable driving tips that anyone can follow to save money on gas and reduce vehicle emissions without spending any money:
1. Carpool within your social network
If you carpooled 10 miles/week with a friend, you would save $72 on gas each year and reduce your C02 emissions by approximately 460 lbs.
Most people turn their car on before they are ready to drive and leave it on after they are done driving. They also get picky when they look for parking spots, driving more than necessary before parking. Even if you don’t do either of these things very often, if you cut them out entirely, you would save at least $26 each year on gas (or more if you idle with your AC on). You would also reduce your C02 emissions by 164 lbs.
3. If you aren’t in a rush, don’t
Stomping the gas pedal costs you – it reduces your fuel efficiency by 10-40%. And every 5 MPH you drive above 55 MPH reduces your MPG by roughly 10%. So if you stopped racing off the line and drove 68 MPH instead of 75 MPH on the highway, you could save $126 on gas each year and reduce your C02 emissions by 798 lbs.
4. Get aero
If you are like a lot of outdoorsy folks, you probably have a roof rack on your car for your bike, skis, surfboard, or other sporting equipment. But what happens when you drive around with your empty roof rack? It creates lots of unnecessary drag that robs you of MPG – as much as 12%. Removing your roof rack when it’s not being used could save you $100 on gas each year and reduce your C02 emissions by 627 lbs.
Bonus Tip: Put your windows up on the highway. Even if you are running the AC, at roughly 68 MPH, the fuel penalty from running the AC is less than the fuel penalty from the added drag of having the windows down.
5. Lose the weight
Every extra 100 lbs of weight in your car reduces your fuel economy by roughly 1%. If you do a little seasonal cleaning in your car, you could save yourself $12 each year on gas and reduce your C02 emissions by roughly 76 lbs.
So what’s the final tally on these 5 simple tips?
Yearly out-of-pocket costs: $0
Average savings at the pump: $336
Average C02 reductions: 2125 lbs.
Average PM2.5 reduction: 17%
These tips are just the start. We have more tips on our Site that can help you save even more on gas and achieve even greater emission reductions. We have recommendations ranging from the best way to cool your car, to aftermarket aerodynamic enhancements that actually work, to all things tire-related, and more. With modest investments in gear, a typical driver could save hundreds of dollar per year on gas. Please check it out, and help yourself and the rest of us by acting in your own economic interest.
Thanks for Driving2save!