Saving money and the environment using the RTC’s eco-driving tips

If you drive everyday or are thinking about hopping in the car for a road trip during the upcoming holiday weekend...
  • Accelerate and stop your car gently. Doing so can help you save more than $1 per gallon of gas, the agency siad, citing the Environmental Protection Administration. Avoiding rapid braking and accelerating can improve fuel economy by up to 33 percent. Research other mileage boosting tips, such as avoiding tailgating and taking turns in a more relaxed way at www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml.
  • Consolidate errands to one one day each week to make the most out of the trip. If you can, park and walk between destinations to get in a little exercise, as well.
  • Instead of driving, maybe walk, ride your bicycle, take the bus or carpool whenever possible.
  • Using he cruise control option in your vehicle can save gasoline and money. Traveling just 5 mph higher than 60 mph is the equivalent of paying 20 cents extra per gallon of gas. Using cruise control can mean an average of 7 percent in fuel savings. Check out www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml.
  • Keep your ride in tip top shape by getting regular oil changes, tune-ups, as well as maintaining proper tire inflation and alignment. This improves vehicle performance and gas mileage. See www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.shtml for more information.
  • Travel light. By lightening your load, particularly in the trunk, you can improve fuel efficiency. One percent of fuel efficiency is lost for every extra 100 pounds you carry in your car.
  • Properly inflated tires can save more than 5 percent of your mileage. Know your recommended tire pressure and check your tires each time you stop for gas.
  • Avoid warming up your car. New vehicles don't need to be warmed up. They are ready to drive 30 seconds after starting. Visit the California Energy Commission Consumer Energy Center's website at www.consumerenergycenter.org/myths/idling.html for more information.
  • Drive at lower speeds and time traffic lights to save potentially significant miles for each gallon of gas burned.
  • Consider converting your gas-powered car to one that runs on biodiesel, vegetable oil or ethanol. This reduces your use of fossil fuels by using waste as an energy source. Also, the next time you're in the market for a new vehicle, consider buying a hybrid, all-electric or cargo bike.
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