Archive for the ‘Vehicles’ Category

Friday Feature

Its back by popular demand! Answer the following questions correctly for a chance to win a reusable lunch bag.  To enter simply comment on this post with the correct answers by noon on Monday, May 7.

Choose the answer you feel is best for the environment.

1. On average, how fast do you drive on the highway:

a.  55 mph

b.  65 mph

c.  75 mph

2.  When your vehicle needs a bath, do you:

a.  Grab the hose and bucket and do it yourself

or

b.  Go to a car wash

Good luck and be on the lookout for the correct answers next week. Have a great weekend.

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Wordless Wednesday (sort of)

 

Thanks to Rebecca Koch for this image.

How to save money at the gas pump

gas pump

I have stopped looking at gas prices; I just purchase it when I need it. Has money become no object to me? Not even close, but my sanity is important and constantly watching prices rise was taxing my mental health. One thing I am doing is taking steps to save money on gasoline. There are the obvious tips like reducing your driving time, carpooling or biking but here are some tips you may not be aware of…or may have slipped your mind.

 

  1. Take your time – For every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph you’re essentially paying an extra 24¢ per gallon of gas. To avoid this try using cruise control and maintain a constant speed.
  2. Keep your “road rage” in check – Aggressive driving, speeding, swerving, impulsive acceleration and braking can lower your highway gas mileage 33% and city mileage 5%. Revving your engine also increases these numbers….
  3. Roll down the windows???? – Please use this tip at your own discretion, not sure how well this will work in Georgia. Air condition can empty your tank at an alarming rate so use it wisely. Don’t leave it on when you don’t need it and never while the windows are down…even cracked. On the other hand when driving over 55 mph for long periods (think road trip) having the windows open increases air resistance and decreases fuel efficiency. Using the AC on road trips can actually improve gas mileage by up to 20%.
  4. MOVE – Not only is idling bad for the environment it’s also bad for your pockets.
  5. Tune it up – Repairing a car that needs a tune up, has a bad oxygen sensor, and changing your oil can boost your fuel efficiency.
  6. Pump it up – Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. The makes for a safer ride and extends the life of your tires. Making sure your tires are aligned is also a good idea.
  7. Drop the weight – Carrying extra weight means burning more gasoline.  For every extra 100 pounds your fuel efficiency is cut by 2%. So while most of us aren’t hauling 100 extra pounds of “stuff” you may be carrying something in your trunk that you could remove to reduce the weight of your vehicle. Every little bit helps.
  8. Cap it – Make sure your gas cap has a secure fit and is tightened after each fill-up. If you don’t have a gas cap…make sure you replace it ASAP.

Source: Mother Nature Network

Photo: Washington State

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The Government Wants You!

The U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are seeking public comment on proposed fuel economy labels to be displayed on new vehicles.  These agencies are hoping to provide an easy way for consumers to compare the environmental and energy factors associated with all types of vehicles. The current timeline would have the new labels ready to appear on 2012 model year vehicles.

There are currently two design proposals…the first features a letter grade to communicate the vehicle’s fuel economy and greehhouse gas emissions performance. The second will keep the current label’s focus on miles per gallon (mpg) and annual fuel costs, but will feature an updated design.

 For more information…or to weigh-in ….http://www.fueleconomy.gov

Source: Mother Nature News

Automobiles and the Environment

Many people would agree that in today’s society vehicles have become a necessity (especially in areas without mass transit). Although owning a vehicle may not be an option, choosing the type of vehicle you own is fairly up to you. Some people prefer the spaciousness and sense of safety that SUV’s provide, while others appreciate the comfort of a luxury sedan. Whatever you choose to drive, automobiles produce emissions. But just how much damage to the environment is actually caused by the vehicles we drive?  This graphic provided by AutoBlog Green make the facts easy to understand.

  What do you do to minimize your vehicles impact on the environment? Think about your next automobile purchase…would you consider a hybrid or electric vehicle?

Clean and Green

It’s a Saturday morning driveway ritual throughout America, washing your vehicle. Did you know that this is one of the worst things you can do to the environment? Washing your car sends an average of 80-140 gallons of water carrying break dust, oil, gasoline, detergents, tar and other contaminants into storm drains. This water then flows UNTREATED into lakes and streams.

How do you keep the environment clean….while cleaning your vehicle? Its simple. Move your car from the driveway (or hard pavement) to the lawn or gravel surface where the water is absorbed into the ground. The contaminants are still there….but the soil will filter out the pollutants leaving cleaner ground water.

Washing your car on a porous pavement not an option?  Try a biodegradable or phosphate-free soap or a newer waterless product which are now on the market.

What’s even better? Taking your vehicle to a commercial car wash facility is the best option. Automatic car washes on average use half the water as a DIY wash and commercial car washes are bound by law to route their water to sewer systems where the water is treated before returning to water bodies. Some car washes even recycle most of the water used at the facility. 

If your organization usually raises money by washing cars, think about selling coupons or vouchers to local commercial car wash facilities….you’ll raise money and protect the environment.

 Thanks to The Seattle Times for this info

Save Gasoline: Park in the Shade

We all know that parking your car in a parking deck or in a shady spot makes sense in the summer. As outside temperatures rise, so do temperatures inside your vehicle. A Stanford University study showed that even on a cool day (72°) a car’s internal temperature can rise to 116° in one hour’s time.

So the benefits of parking a car in the shade to cool internal temperatures are obvious, but did you know that it can save you money as well? 

The Daily Green  reports that gasoline evaporates quickly from closed gas tanks and this process increases as temperatures rise. Parking under a tree or parking garage can decrease the amount of fuel lost to evaporation and lowers the temps inside your car, requiring less air conditioning when you return.