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8 Ways to Green Your Ride

1. Plan ahead: A cold engine pollutes up to five times more than a warmed up one. Combine several short trips into one, saving energy, money and polluting less.

2. Lighten up: Are you carting around excess baggage–a stroller or bike that’s rarely used, that box of books you’ve been meaning to drop off at the library? While carrying a few extra light items isn’t harmful, carrying an extra 100 pounds decreases your fuel economy by one percent.

3. No American “Idles”: Newer cars don’t need to warm up like older models, so there’s no need to idle in your driveway anymore. Turn off your ignition anytime you are stopped or parked more than a few minutes. Use a reflective windshield shade in winter to help reduce frost in winter.

4. Cruise: At highway speeds, using cruise control can reduce your fuel consumption up to 7 percent.

5. Park it right: In the summer, park your car in the shade or use a reflective windshield shade to keep your car cool and reduce fuel evaporation. A garage can help keep your car cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

6. Maintenance: Regular maintenance, tune-ups, oil changes and checking of tire inflation extend the life of your car, reduce the incidence of break-downs, and improve gas mileage.

7. Change your oil: Changing your car’s oil and oil filter improves its fuel efficiency. If you do it yourself, be sure to recycle the oil properly and fill up your engine with clean recycled motor oil. Go to to find a used motor oil drop-off location near you. If you go to a service station, make sure they do the same.

8. At the pump: Avoid “topping-off” your gas tank when filling up at the pump. Overfilling your tank by even a little bit can lead to pollution caused by gasoline spills. When possible, get fuel in cooler weather to minimize evaporation and prevent gas fumes form heating up and creating ozone. Also, seek out gas stations that use those accordion-looking plastic devices covering the gas nozzle known as pollution-reducing vapor-recovery nozzles.

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Green, Life, Transportation, , , , ,

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.


+ add your own
5:36PM PST on Jan 4, 2012

thanks for the info

5:36PM PST on Jan 4, 2012

thanks for the info

10:34PM PST on Jan 29, 2011

Thanks.Really waiting a first real plug-in hybrid. It would be also cool,if those plug-in hybrids would use gas or ethanol when the batteries run out.

12:07AM PST on Jan 22, 2011


10:26PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

good info, another great hybrid car is the new Porsch Cayenne

2:52PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

good info thanks forgot about some of them

4:01PM PST on Jan 13, 2011

I still miss my jeep but trading 14 miles per gallon for 30 miles per gallon really puts a smile on my face.

1:19AM PST on Jan 13, 2011


3:29PM PST on Jan 11, 2011

You forgot #1: park it and walk.
If you have several errands that are near each other, park in the middle and walk to both instead of re-parking. The time it takes to walk might be less than what it takes to drive, and starting the car, then idling around hunting for a spot is about as bad as you can do regarding tailpipe emissions.

also, check out biofuels. Nearly any car can operate on at least 10% ethanol or 10% biodiesel. Many newer cars can handle 15% ethanol (e15). Most diesels can handle B20 or B50 without issue as well.

8:02AM PST on Jan 11, 2011


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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