Give your car a break: Using public transportation, carpooling, biking or walking can save energy and reduce carbon pollution on your way to and from work. Leaving your car at home just two days a week can reduce carbon pollution by an average of two tons per year. You may also want to consider telecommuting (working from home via phone or the Internet), which can reduce the stress of commuting, reduce pollution, and save money. Even small life changes, like combining your errands and activities into one trip when using your car, make an impact.
Check your tire pressure: You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflation increases tire wear, reduces your fuel economy, and leads to higher carbon pollution emissions. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. Check your tire pressure regularly. When it’s time for new tires, consider purchasing tires with “low rolling resistance,” an energy-saving feature.
Driving along: In hot weather and long trips, save money and fuel by rolling the windows down at low speeds but use the vehicle air conditioner at highway speeds.
Drive Smart: To improve your fuel economy and reduce carbon pollution, go easy on the brakes, avoid hard accelerations, reduce your time spent idling (no more than 30 seconds), and unload unnecessary items in your trunk to reduce weight. If you have a removable roof rack that is not in use, take it off to improve your fuel economy. If you have cruise control, use it on highways to maintain a constant speed, but not on secondary roads where all those ups and downs cause engines to waste gas maintaining speed. For vehicles with selectable four-wheel drive, consider operating in two-wheel drive mode when road conditions make it safe to do so.
Combine multiple errands: Plan everything into a single trip and plot out the shortest itinerary. Several short trips taken from a cold start will use twice as much fuel as a longer multi-stop trip of the same distance taken with a warm engine.
Don’t rush: Each 5 mph increase above 60 mph is equal to paying about 28 cents more per gallon at today’s prices.
Maintain Your Vehicle: A well-maintained car is more fuel-efficient, produces less carbon pollution and keeps you safe. Keeping your car in shape includes keeping your engine properly tuned, using the recommended grade of motor oil, and replacing a clogged air filters. Get regular tune-ups, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule (which can be found in your owner’s manual), and use the recommended grade of motor oil.
Danger: Recharge Air Conditioners Properly. If your vehicle air conditioner needs to be recharged, be sure to use correct, approved refrigerants. Avoid recharging with unacceptable substitute refrigerants which may post health or environmental risks, including toxicity, flammability, ozone depletion potential, and more.