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Home » Travel and Transport

Slow down your carbon footprint!

Submitted by on Monday, 18 April 2011 Loading Add to favourites  4 Comments

woman-driving-slow-reduce-carbon-footprintFor day 34 of our carbon fast we were asked not to drive so fast!

The advice reads “Keep your highway driving speed between 55 and 60 mph today. For most vehicles, 55 mph is the most fuel efficient highway speed and will save you up to 20-30% in fuel costs compared to driving at 75 mph. Automobile emissions are one of the leading causes of greenhouse gases. If you have to stop for more than 10 seconds, you will save gas and reduce greenhouse emissions by turning off your engine.”

Well to be honest we don’t drive faster than that anyway. For a long time we’ve realised we get better fuel efficiency if we stick to a steady, slow speed and as we live in a rural area with narrow, winding lanes, it’s impossible to put your foot down. And who would want to when you’re driving through beautiful countryside surrounded by wild horses?

Plus, now I’m a Mum I can’t stand the thought of screeching down the road so fast. Children can dart out into the road while they are in the moment and if you’re driving too fast they don’t stand a chance if you hit them.

One thing I AM guilty of, however, is carrying excess weight in the car. I’m a bit lazy if I get home with things in the boot so I tend to leave them there. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent according to one site, so that’s worth thinking about. Be aware of that if you use a roof rack or bike carrier.

When we had a 7 seater, if we were using it just for our family we would regularly take 3 seats out; they weighed a LOT!

The other way to save fuel of course, is not to use your car for short journeys. All that starting the engine and driving while cold uses more fuel and hey, walking or biking is better for you and the environment anyway!

And finally, get your vehicle regularly serviced – cleaning out those filters can make a difference to the efficiency of your car.

What about you? Do you stick to a slow, steady pace when you’re driving to save fuel?


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  • Great tip! The highest speed limit on our entire island is 35 mpg, and while I’ll admit to exceeding that regularly, we certainly can’t get much above 55 without being a bit reckless.

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Melissa @ The New Mommy Files: Hi Melissa, well that sounds the perfect solution! A 35mph speed limit sounds positively serene! Where do you live?

  • We are so lucky … we work from home and set our own hours so … when we do have to go out, we’re not in a hurry. I spent many years having to rush through every moment so this, to me, is luxury! And, it’s amazing what one sees when they slow down … there’s a whole, beautiful world out there. lol Thanks for the reminder about weight … I forgot about that!!

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Small Footprints: I love the idea of not having to rush anywhere. Even though we are at home a lot, we’re pretty disorganised so we end up in a mad rush to get out of the house to errands and clubs. It’s something we’re working on because it causes a lot of stress.