Gas-powered vehicles are the #1 way most of us contribute to poor air quality, but these simple tips can reduce your impact when you’re on the go. And – bonus – many of these tips are also money-saving. As we close out 2020, we’re celebrating these good habits every Tuesday. Join the conversation with #TravelCleanTuesday, start a new habit today, and make a resolution to keep it up in 2021.
Some tips for drivers looking to save money and the planet:
- Fill up your gas tank early in the morning or during evening hours when temperatures are coolest, preventing fuel evaporation.
- Don’t top off, and tighten your gas cap. This prevents pollutants from evaporating into the air.
- Avoid idling your car, for example at rest stops, drive through restaurants or when picking up additional passengers. Turning off your car and restarting it uses less fuel than idling for 30 seconds.
- Check the air pressure in your tires regularly (at least monthly) and keep them properly inflated. Properly inflated tires save money, provide more traction, last longer, reduce emissions, keep you safe, and improve gas mileage.
- Avoid aggressive driving. Accelerating quickly and braking hard increases emissions and lowers gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% in town.
- Pack light. An extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel economy by up to 2%. Large rooftop cargo boxes increase emissions and reduce fuel economy by 6%–17% at highway speeds and 2%–8% around town.
- Fixing a vehicle that's failed an emissions test or is out of tune will decrease emissions and improve gas mileage an average of 4%. Repairing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, reduces tons of emissions and improve gas mileage as much as 40%.
- Improve your gas mileage and do your part for cleaner air by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. Look for motor oil labeled "energy-conserving" that contains friction-reducing additives.