Green driving tips

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Green driving tips
          Information about environmentally friendly driving
    Throughout most of the 20th century, motor vehicles have             While improvements in automotive technology are helping
played a key role in our lives. The mobility provided by cars,        clear the air, the following tips will help you protect the environ-
vans, trucks and buses is essential to the quality of life we enjoy   ment. These green driving tips are simple and easy to remember
today.                                                                and may even save you money.
    Everyday activities such as getting to and from work, taking         Always consult your owner’s manual, as most contain hints
the kids to school, visiting the doctor, shopping, and attending      and suggestions for maintenance and more efficient driving.
community functions often involve the automobile. So, too, do         Before turning the key
leisure activities such as visiting family and friends, going to          4 Plan and consolidate your trips. This will enable you to
sporting events, dining out, seeing a movie, vacationing and          bypass congested routes and lead to less idling, fewer start ups
sightseeing.                                                          and less stop-and-go traffic. Whenever feasible, share a ride,
    Americans are driving more, and we continue to rely on our        carpool and use the most fuel efficient car possible.
cars as primary means of transportation. At the same time, we             4 Keep your car well-tuned. Cars that are not properly tuned
are increasingly aware of the need to preserve our environment,       emit more pollutants. A well-tuned car also improves gas mile-
conserve energy and improve air quality.                              age.
    That’s why it is important for all of us to understand what           4 Avoid topping off the gas tank when refueling. Do not
we can do to help protect the environment when we drive. Be-          overfill your gas tank because spilled gasoline evaporates and
cause clean air is important to everyone, significant progress        contributes to air pollution.
has been made by the automotive industry and public                       4 Keep tires properly inflated. This reduces tread wear and
policymakers to improve air quality. Air quality is better today      conserves fuel.
than it was in the 1970s.                                                 4 Repair air-conditioner leaks immediately. Some air con-
    In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-         ditioners may contain chlorofluorocarbons.
ports that harmful emissions from automobiles have declined               4 Use an engine heater in cold climates. The warmer the
significantly. Nationwide, air quality improved considerably          engine upon starting, the quicker it and the catalytic converter
from 1980 to 1998 because emissions from highway vehicles
                                                                      – an important emission control device – achieve maximum
decreased substantially.
                                                                      efficiency.
    During that time, overall highway vehicle emissions of vola-
tile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide           Starting the Car
were reduced by 41, 10 and 35 percent, respectively.                     4 Don’t pump the accelerator, if your car has fuel injection.
    These air quality improvements have occurred while vehicle        A properly tuned fuel-injected car should start right away even
travel on American highways increased by 72 percent from 1980         in cold weather.
to 1998.                                                                 4 Newer model cars don’t need to be warmed up by idling.
    In addition, EPA has projected that vehicle emissions of vola-    Prolonged idling creates excess emissions and may damage the
tile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide          catalytic converter.
will continue to decrease by 31, 31 and 20 percent respectively       The Right Stuff: Emission-Reducing Equipment
by the year 2010.
                                                                         4 Catalytic converters. Newer cars equipped with catalytic
    The primary reasons for this dramatic decline are major im-
                                                                      converts eliminate more than 95 percent of carbon monoxide,
provements in automotive and fuel technology. Examples in-
                                                                      volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.
clude cleaner burning fuels, more efficient engines, and im-
                                                                         4 Cruise control. Cruise control saves fuel at highway speeds
proved exhaust emission controls.
                                                                      by reducing excess gas pedal activity.




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