For most Americans, a car is a necessity. Of course our love affair with the automobile has had a serious impact on the environment. Minimizing that impact doesn't necessarily mean parking your car. There are some common sense things you can do to lighten your vehicles environmental footprint.
There are more cars on the road than ever before. All that traffic means high levels of pollution and smog. One solution is to ditch the gas guzzler and buy a hybrid. Many get 50 to 60 miles per gallon and are getting easier to find. Car salesman Kevin Slater says, "we went through two years where people had a waiting list anywhere from three months to a year for the vehicle. We've got a great selection. People can come in and drive off with it today".
Of course there are alternatives to buying a new car. You could walk to work or carpool. You could also make a difference by paying attention to how you drive. "If you were to drive 55 as opposed to driving 65, you could save twenty cents a gallon," says John Townsend from AAA.
Some other good ideas, don't accelerate rapidly, turn the air conditioner off, and roll up your windows when cruising at higher speeds. Taking care of your vehicle also improves gas mileage. Change your oil every three-thousand miles and get regular check-ups.
"Treat it like it is a racecar, but don't drive it that way, " says Townsend. And, whatever you do, don't forget to maintain proper tire pressure. Underinflated tires will rob you of precious mileage.