Road vacations are another excellent way
to practice being more planet friendly. There are many ways to
save energy and money if you travel Earthsmart. In fact, you can
improve your gas mileage by several percent if you practice just
a few simple things. Here’s
a checklist you can use to help you make sure your family and vehicle
are ready to go!
A Check-Up for
Your Vehicle -- First, make
sure your vehicle and its parts are properly maintained. Properly
inflated tires are a big factor in gas mileage and can also help
your tires last longer. Knowing your tires PSI (pounds per square
inch) is critical. Some vehicles PSI will vary between front and
back tires. I have a pair of old gloves and a tire gauge that I
store in my car so I remember once a month to check my pressure.
Eco-Driving Tips --
Once your vehicle is ready to go, it’s time to think about
becoming an eco-driver on the road. Remember that you’re
taking a road vacation to enjoy the scenery along the way. So
observe the speed limits. Some EPA estimates have shown up to
10% better gas mileage at 55 mph rather than 65 mph. According
to the Department of Energy, you will pay an extra 10 cents per
gallon for every mile per hour you drive over 60 mph.
Keep the Load Down
-- The extra bulk of suitcases
or wind-surfing boards on the roof of your car can make your car
less aero-dynamic and drastically reduce your gas mileage. Also
added weight in the trunk can increase gas intake. Try to pack
light, and avoid putting items on the roof of the car.
Don’t forget to use the cruise control when you’re
loaded down with gear and people. This will help you maintain a steady
driving speed cutting down on your gas burned. Select your vehicles
overdrive gear whenever you’re cruising down the highway to
reduce your engine speed.
Tread Lightly -- If
you’re driving a
camper or some other low mileage vehicle, bring along a bicycle
or scooter for quick errands to the store or the beach. Leaving
the gas hog in the campground or a parking lot will save you money
and fuel for more fun in the sun.