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How you could – and should – give eco-motoring a shot
With skyrocketing fuel prices, traffic snarls and increasing pollution, wars being waged over oil and economic turmoil, it is time for each of us to really go green.
No, we’re not asking you to give up your car, stop driving all together or even buy a Prius (even if Cameron Diaz and Salma Hayek drive ‘em). Here are our top tips for cleaning up your act on the road.
#7: Lose the junk in your trunk
Just as top-level athletes need to be in peak physical condition, so does your car, if it’s going to be as fuel efficient as possible. No matter which car you drive, eliminating excess weight will go a long way to making you faster and more fuel efficient, so make sure you’re not hauling any dead-weight around in the trunk. You too, Mr. Couch Potato.
#6: Riding on your tires
Proper tire maintenance is often overlooked, but ensuring your tires are properly inflated can make your car perform a lot better. Check your owner’s manual for the optimum level of air required in your tires. If you want really want to go the extra mile, you can switch from regular tires to low rolling resistance tires, which are harder and need even less friction. It’s a fine line between comfort and economy though.
#5: The need for speed
One of the most effective ways of increasing your fuel economy is by simply changing the way you drive. That means smoother driving, with less hard acceleration, braking or being a general nuisance on the road.
#4: Don’t idle your car
A few minutes of idling doubles the pollutants of turning the car off and then on again. Despite the myths, you won’t waste gas or consume more by restarting your engine. Many high-end cars today have an automatic engine start-stop function which handles it for you.
#3: Car pooling
As horrific or as fun as it may have sounded when you were in school, it’s a sensible solution. Take your buddies along for the ride and it cuts the number of cars on the road and saves gas. More importantly, your buddies can foot the petrol bill for the journey, which lightens the impact on your wallet as well.
#2: Use public transport
Whether you use a car, share a car, or don’t drive at all, public transit is a great way to get around and be green. Take a cab, a bus or even a train if the situation permits. Or do yourself a favour and use your God-given appendages to walk, bicycle or run. You’ll feel better too.
#1: Go electric or hybrid
It’s not necessarily the most cost-effective solution for everyone, but there are a few options available in India.
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