Dominican Sisters of HoustonJune 20, 2014
After stopping to fill up our cars with gas, our first reaction is to protest the rising prices. Which indeed is a normal reaction, given that the rising prices probably go to protect executive and shareholders income? Another approach may be to evaluate our driving habits and make some changes. Reducing our use of fuel not only benefits our pocketbooks, it also reduces the amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Stop and ask: Do I need to drive? If the answer is yes, here are some helpful reminders: Plan and combine your errands to use the most efficient routes. Do as many errands as possible on the same day. Keep tires inflated to proper pressure for better gas mileage. Fast from Speed: Don't drive faster than 60 miles an hour. This of course for most of us will take effort. The Union of Concerned Scientist tells us that dropping from 70 to 60 mph improves fuel efficiency by an average of 17.2%. Dropping from 75 to 55 improves efficiency to 30.6%. Did you know that the Texas legislature is considering increasing the speed limit to 85 mph? We should protest this! Drive in the extreme right lane. Slow down and enjoy the trip. Don't warm up the engine more than 10 seconds. Anything beyond that is wasteful. Stop idling. If you wait is more than a minute you are wasting fuel and money. Consider parking and going in rather than driving through at fast food restaurants, etc., especially when there is a line. Use smart driving techniques. Slow starts. No sudden braking. Use cruise control. Coast when possible. Do not ride your brake. Keep your gas tank full. Refuel when you are down to half a tank. Fill up in the morning rather than later in the day during hot weather.