Walk or bike rather than driving a car. For each gallon of gas you burn, 20 pounds of heat-trapping CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Walking and biking is better for you and for the environment.
- If you can’t walk or bike, carpool with others. If you make the same drive on a regular basis (such as a daily commute), ask around and find others who make the same trip.
- Use the Williams Rideboard to offer and find rides.
- If you’re buying a car, buy the most fuel efficient one that suits your needs and is in your price range. A fuel efficient car will not only decrease your greenhouse gas emissions but will also save you thousands of dollars at the gas pump over the life of the vehicle.
- Don’t buy a bigger car than you need, and think hard about what you really need. Consider renting a larger vehicle for the few occasions that you might need it, and purchasing a small fuel efficient one for all of the rest of the time.
- Accelerate slowly and smoothly (rather than quickly and aggressively) and observe speed limits. Aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.
- Don’t idle. Letting your car idle for just 20 seconds burns more gasoline than shutting it off and turning it back on again. Similarly, although it’s tempting to warm up your car for 10 minutes in the winter, in most cases, that’s just not necessary. According to the official website of CarTalk, “The fact is, cars these days don’t need to be warmed up. Except in below-zero conditions, you can just start the engine and drive off.”