1 green thing: Avoid ‘gas’ pain…

By Jan Herbert

Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

Avoid “gas” pain…that is, the “gasoline pain” at the pump. You can save BIG on gas with proper maintenance and sensible driving:

A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent (huge when gas is $2.50/gallon!).

Keep your tires aligned properly and save another 10 percent. Proper alignment avoids wear and the engine working harder. Of course, keep tires properly inflated to save another potential 2-3 percent (if they are under-inflated by 7 1/2 pounds).

A properly-tuned automobile can improve mileage by up to 4 percent.

It is estimated that nearly 17 percent of cars on the road have broken or missing gas caps. Escaping fumes hurt fuel economy and create air pollution!

Did you know when you lower highway speed by 5 mph, you reduce fuel consumption by 7 percent? Eliminate jackrabbit starts and stops, and stay off the brake pedal to save even more.

Get that junk out of the trunk! Every 100 pounds extra means you lose 1 to 2 percent in fuel efficiency.

Please do not idle. Every three minutes you avoid idling is 1 cent per gallon. For our children’s sake, do not do it in front of schools where they are breathing what is coming out of your exhaust pipe. Ewwwwwww. Do not idle to warm up your car, dress warm, get in, start the car, put on your seat belt, and you are ready to go. Letting the car warm up while you are driving is better for your car and the environment! These tips are from the Consumer Federation of America.

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at JanHerbert@RockfordParkdistrict.org.

From the Dec. 9-15, 2009 issue

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