Four New Year's resolutions on driving

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From an article Jim Motavalli on the Mother Nature Network:

Now here a few worthy year-end resolutions from EcoCAR:

Drive smart. Planning trips to avoid traffic and stop lights, maintaining steady and legal speeds, slowly accelerating, limiting use of air conditioning, heated seats, and rear window defoggers, and avoiding unnecessary heavy loads can all improve fuel economy.

Set car-free goals. Whether it is biking to work or running errands on foot, it’s easier to stick to a greener transportation plan if you set goals. University of Wisconsin EcoCAR team member Dan Grice set an ambitious goal for 2010: 3,000 commuter miles by bike. He says, “Bike commuting is my goal. I want to average four days a week which would eliminate 3,000 miles of driving in 2010.”

Try sharing. Car pooling may have been an invention of necessity to dodge traffic, but it’s greener than ever even if it’s still not the most popular option – 77 percent of Americans drive to work alone. Car sharing programs such as Zipcar are worth investigating.

Drop mileage from your food. Country-of-origin labels, wait lists for CSAs and the overcrowded farmer’s market scene add up to one thing: Americans are paying more attention to where their food comes from. A good resolution would be buying local as much as possible and setting a goal, such as resolving to incorporate one local food product into your meals every day.