Follow the Speed Limit: Did you know you can get better fuel efficiency by following the speed limit? Assuming half of your driving is on the highway and the other half on city streets, by reducing your top highway speed from 70mph to 65mph you can save 2,230 lbs a year off of your carbon footprint. Not to mention increasing your fuel economy, this saves money on gas, approximately $225 a year, and natural resources.
Combine Errands: Cold engine startups use twice as much fuel and pollute twice as much. That quick one-mile trip to the dry cleaners can pollute up to 70 percent as much as a ten-mile excursion with several stops. Combine short trips into one multipurpose trip with a warm engine and you will save on fuel and pollute less.
- Trip linking is easy:
- Keep a running list of errands you need to do
- Try to match items on your list that are located near each other
- For example, if your child's school is located near your dry cleaner and post office, three trips could be linked together into one
- Give yourself enough time and plan ahead
- Think before you drive: "Do I really need to make this trip?" and "How can I combine this errand with another trip I'll be making this week?"
Maintain Your Vehicle: Maintenance issues will come up eventually with any car. Maintaining your car not only saves you money at the pump and helps cool the climate by reducing pollution, but keeping your air filters fresh can also help maintain good air quality inside your car.
- By keeping your tires properly inflated and changing air filters regularly, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 1,700 lbs a year, depending on your fuel efficiency.
- Report a smoking vehicle. They can contribute up to 15 times more air pollution than well-tuned vehicles. To report a smoking vehicle, you may submit a Complaint Form for Smoking Vehicles to the Air Resources Board.
- More tips can be found from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's website devoted to green driving
Practicing eco driving and proper vehicle maintenance can reduce the carbon footprint of an average household by up to 4200 pounds (2.1 tons) of CO2e annually. Use the Household Carbon Footprint Calculator to find out what other actions can save money and lower your carbon footprint.