It can be hard to do less driving if you’re used to the convenience of jumping in the car, but if you want to cut down on fuel, you need to think about leaving the car at home at least a few times a week.
The best thing to do is plan your trips in the car more effectively. Roll chores into one trip and tag them onto a journey you would be doing anyway.
Walk the children to school once or twice a week. This is not only great for the planet, it’s also good for you and your family, as you’ll all benefit from the fresh air and exercise instead of sitting in traffic at one of the busiest times of the day.
If you have a hybrid car, then you’re sure to have noticed a reduction in the amount of fuel you use, and the number of times you have to fill up the tank. However, you may not be in a position to switch cars for one of the new eco cars that are on the market just yet.
There are other ways to increase the fuel economy of your current car. Firstly, adopt a different approach to driving. Imagine that instead of an accelerator pedal under your foot, you are riding a bike instead. When you go uphill on a bike you take it easy – not straining yourself too much as you take it more slowly to get to the top without getting off. The downhill stretch is plain sailing, and you gain in momentum as you descend. So it goes for driving a car – don’t put the engine under strain by accelerating hard as you climb up, this simply burns more fuel. Take it slowly and coast back down.
Similarly, try to avoid any aggressive accelerating and sharp braking as this drinks fuel quickly. Anticipate the road ahead, take it easy, and you’ll hardly need to use the brakes.
Adopting these kind of strategies will make a big difference to your miles per gallon, and it will also cut down the emissions your car produces – a benefit for the planet.