Living An Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

5 Great Ways to Save on Gas

price at the pump
We tend to be a little spoiled in America and we take our vehicles (and the environment) for granted. 

Our vehicles are an extension of our own lives - We use them for everything. And when we get low on fuel, we know that there's always a gas station just up the road.

Though we're not willing to give up our vehicles, we do try our best to conserve gas while using them freely.  So I thought I'd share a few easy ideas on how to keep your fuel budget to a minimum.  You'll save a little money, while putting less greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere.

1.  Run multiple errands at once.

If you know you need to run an errand, try to think of other errands you may need to run later.  This way you're only making one trip instead of two or three.  And when running multiple errands, try to do them in the order that makes the driving trip as short as possible.  This will cut down on gas usage tremendously if you make it a conscious habit to do this every time.

2.  Stay out of drive-thru lines.

I don't know how many time's I've driven past a fast food restaurant just to see a line of cars waiting for their food.  During high traffic times like lunch and dinner rushes, cars can be waiting in line for 10-15 minutes at a time.  This is one of those occurrences where being environmentally friendly takes a little effort on your behalf.  Park your car and walk inside.


3.  Check your tire pressure.

First and foremost, an under inflated tire is a safety risk.  Tires are engineered to operate at a specific pressure to allow maximum traction while reducing rolling resistance to the pavement which gives the driver better control of the vehicle.  Under inflated tires create more friction on the road, making your engine work harder to maintain vehicle speed.  Driving on an under inflated tire also wears the treads of the tire faster, meaning you'll have to replace them sooner.  It has been calculated that for every 1 lb of under inflation, you can lose about 1 mpg from your fuel efficiency.  It only takes a couple of minutes to check your pressure, and can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

4.  Take Unnecessary Items Out of Your Car

Your vehicles weight is a fuel efficiency factor.  The more your vehicle weighs, the harder the engine has to work to accelerate the vehicle and maintain its' speed.  Keeping unnecessary items out of your car will lighten the weight and help it run more efficiently.

5.  Walk or Bike the Short Trips Instead of Driving

How many people jump in their car just to go a couple blocks to the convenience store for a beverage or 2?  I know I've been guilty of it.  If you  live just a few blocks from your destination, jump on a bicycle or just walk.  The exercise (albeit very little) will do you good, but it'll do the environment, and your wallet even better.

Anytime you can cut your gas usage and increase your efficiency it's a win-win situation for us all.  Every dollar you're not spending on gas is not only more money in your pocket, but also less greenhouse gases seeping into our atmosphere. 


  1. After reading this article, I went and checked my tire pressure. According to my manual, I'm 5 pounds under on 2 different tires. Do I go by the manual or the tire itself?

  2. For efficiency, I always go by the recommendation on the sidewall of the tire. The tire pressure stated in your vehicle manual is based on ride comfort.

    However, never inflate it to the maximum pressure on the sidewall. Your tires warm up as your driving and the air inside them expands. So if your cold tire pressure is 35psi, it can inflate to 40-45 psi as it warms up. I generally air my tires to about 7psi under the maximum pressure on the sidewall. This has always worked for me.

    On a side note, grats on checking your tire pressure. 5lbs under inflation is a big drop in efficiency. Enjoy your extra gas mileage my friend!

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