Beat High Gas Prices Ten Smart Ways
Gas prices have topped $4 a gallon in some states, and are inching higher and higher in many others. You're probably not surprised: if you're reading this blog, then you know that gasoline comes from oil, and oil is an unreliable source of fuel. Prices are volatile right now because the Middle East is so shaky, worldwide demand is rising, and some American refineries are not operating at full capacity.
But even when prices at the pump aren't high, the environmental and human health "costs" we pay for burning gasoline are out of sight, considering the pollution and climate change it causes and the toll it takes on the air we breathe and the water we drink.
These tips will help you save money at the pump - because they'll help you drive less.
- 1. Drive smart - Avoid quick starts and stops, use cruise control on the highway, and don't idle.
- 2. Drive the speed limit - Remember - every 5 mph you drive above 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.10 per gallon for gas.
- 3. Drive less - Walk, bicycle, use a scooter or moped, combine trips, and telecommute.
- 4. Drive a more fuel-efficient car - Consider one of the new hybrids; at the very least, choose from among the EPA's "Fuel Economy Leaders" in the class vehicle you're considering.
- 5. Keep your engine tuned up - Improve gas mileage by an average of 4.1 percent by maintaining your vehicle in top condition.
- 6. Carpool - According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 32 million gallons of gasoline would be saved each day if every car carried just one more passenger on its daily commute.
- 7. Use mass transit and "Ride Share" programs - Why pay for gasoline at all?
- 8. Keep tires properly inflated - Improve gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Replace worn tires with the same make and model as the originals.
- 9. Buy the cheapest gas you can find - Buy gas in the morning, from wholesale shopper's clubs, and using gas-company rebate cards. Track neighborhood prices on the Internet.
- 10. Support higher fuel-efficiency standards and the development of alternative fuels - Ultimately, our best hope for beating the gas crisis is to increase fuel efficiency while we transition to renewable and non-petroleum based fuels. Endorse efforts to boost average fuel efficiency to at least 40 mpg. Support programs that promote research and development of alternatives to transportation systems based on oil.
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