Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mother's going GREEN Day 37 - Driving "Green"

We live about an hours drive outside Vancouver, British Columbia (60km or so) along a beautiful mountain road with lots of twists and turns. And sometimes I need to make that trip into the city.

There is a rail track that runs right next to the road but alas no passenger trains or I would by far prefer to take the train. It is a 'political' thing that their is no passenger train - I would say about 50% of our community commutes to the city on a daily bases for work (my husband included). Lots of CO2 !!!!!! Now if only the train could take you there that would cut down on some of that pollution. But I think that is going to take awhile for that to happen.

However, there are green ways to drive, and I use the book Green for Life by Gillian Deacon as reference to some of them:
  • Drive the speed limit - cars engines will operate more efficiently at the speed limit, as they are designed for this. Plus it is safer too.

  • Keep your cars tires at the correct pressure - Tires that are not inflated enough cause a drag on the road - hence using more energy, gas and creating more pollution. To know what pressure is right for your tires - look at the sticker that should be inside the door frame of the drivers side.

  • Keep your oil clean - The cleaner your oil is the better the car will run - more efficiently. I prefer to have my oil changed 'professionally' this way the oil can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. If you choose to do it yourself, please ensure that you dispose of the oil correctly.

  • Do not idle your car - not even to warm it up - Idling your car only wastes the gas and creates unnecessary CO2. It is best to drive a car to warm it up and if you live in a really cold place it is more energy efficient to buy a block heater that can keep your engine warm. Along our highway into the city - there is a lot of construction going on - in preparation for the 2010 winter Olympics, hence there are often times when cars are stopped for construction purposes. There are signs posted asking us to save the air and turn off our cars and I think this is just great - although some people do not and prefer to idle for the 10 - 20 minutes that they need to wait.

So even if you do not yet drive a 'green' car - at least drive green!!

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