Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Making Green Easy

Each day my husband and I work at changing our behavior to make our lives more "green."  The biggest change for us has been riding our bikes everywhere.  I've also taken the community link buses when I have to visit neighboring towns.  The inconvenience of long waits is almost enough to make me want to drive, but lately I've found driving to be very unpleasant (perhaps it's the lack of airconditioning.)  But when I do have to drive my car the destination is typically either my research site (275 mile round trip) or to visit the parents (200 mile round trip).  For those trips I've had ideas on how to be a more green driver:
  • Keep it at or under 55 mph (much easier on the windy coast road to my research site than when I take I-5 to visit the parents) but driving 55 mph or slower saves gas, and using less gas to go the same distance is a basic green concept.
  • Drive with high tire pressure in the summer.  We have icy and wet winters so if you visit the tire centers during the winter months chances are you're driving away with lowish tire pressure to aid in traction.  But greater traction also means greater friction and less efficiency.  Once the weather has improved get them pumped up an your gas mileage with improve.
  • Just say no to drive-thrus.  Yes, it's un-american but we have completely given them up.  It's easily the simplest green choice we've made, just park the car and walk into get our greasy fast food or mocha frappuccino.  I have no idea just how much gas is typically wasted in drive-thrus, but it just makes sense to give them up.
  • Get a tune up!  (I emphasize this because I have yet to check it off my "to-do" list).  A well tuned car is a clean running more efficient car.
You can make being green as simple or complex as you wish.  The green culture is growing and I've found that we don't need to commit to extreme changes that complicate our lifestyles or don't fit with our economic level in order to feel like we're making an impact.  

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