NEWS: To view a Smart Car Gallery of Greener transportation ideas, click here for featured cars on the horizon.
Almost one third of the energy imported into Hawaii each year goes to ground transportation in our cars, buses and trucks. Here are some things you can do to help reduce the use of imported oil, protect the environment and save a little money:
- Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible.
- Start a carpool or vanpool with your coworkers or classmates.
- Instead of owning a car, consider renting when you need a car or organize a car sharing system with friends or relatives.
- Keep your vehicle tuned up. Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
- Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated. Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%.
- When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle. Consider a hybrid, a diesel (which would let you use bio-diesel instead of gasoline) or any vehicle with high fuel efficiency.
- Try telecommuting from home.
Drive sensibly Driving aggressively (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by five percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
Observe the speed limit While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.
As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.
Observing the speed limit is also safer.
Remove excess weight Avoid keeping unnecessary heavy items in your vehicle. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. This impacts smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
Avoid excessive idling Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.
Use cruise control Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Use overdrive gears When you use overdrive gearing, your car’s engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.