By ecoRI News staff
The following is a list of tips, courtesy of Environment Rhode Island, to help you use less oil and shrink your carbon footprint:
Keep up on your vehicle maintenance. On average, an efficient engine could cut your gasoline use by nearly 50 gallons a year, saving you about $140 and reducing your carbon footprint by 1 ton annually.
Keep your tires inflated and invest in low-rolling resistance tires. With well-inflated advanced tires, you’ll save about $50 a year on your gas bill.
Drive efficiently. Driving at a steady, reasonable pace can reduce your fuel use by as much as 15 percent. That means about $175 a year in savings on gasoline, and more than a ton of carbon removed from the atmosphere.
Get rid of unnecessary weight in your car. Your fuel efficiency drops by 1 percent for every 100 pounds of stuff that you keep in your car, so it pays to clean out your trunk.
Carpool. Social networking websites such as eRideShare have made it increasingly easy and convenient to match up with people with similar commutes. And companies such as NuRide offer discounts at restaurants, free tickets to events and other rewards to commuters who carpool, vanpool or find other green ways to commute to work.
Consider telecommuting as an alternative to the daily drive to work. New technologies are making it easier to do more of your work from home. Working from home saves Americans an average of 46 minutes a day on their commute, which adds up to more than 100 hours a year that would otherwise be wasted in traffic — more than the total vacation time many of us earn in a year.
Be efficient with your shopping and other travel. When you can walk, walk. When you have to drive, plan ahead and try to hit multiple stores in one trip. Shopping locally saves the gasoline consumed by trucks and ships transporting goods.
When you buy a car, consider its energy costs and impact on the environment. This summer alone, a 60-mpg car would save the average consumer about $500 at the pump. Plug-in electric vehicles, meanwhile, offer superior driving performance and can be operated for just pennies per mile while producing no tailpipe emissions.
Prioritize public transportation and walkable, mixed-use communities when you choose a home. Online resources such as the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index can help you figure out which neighborhoods have the most transportation choices.