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Tune up your car, or this is where your money will go! Tune up your car, or this is where your money will go!
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Think Green with Transportation

Top Ten Ways to Go Green with Transportation

            If you are looking into green transportation, the first thing you should do is put your car on a time out. Did you know that owning a car costs between four and nine thousand dollar per year? Taking public transportation on the other had costs between two hundred and two thousand dollars per year. But it's not only about the money. Just to produce a car four tons are dumped into the air, along with thousands of other chemicals. Even if a car is a necessity where you live there are ways to be a more eco-friendly driver. Here are ten tips to get you started towards greener transportation.

1. Use Public Transportation

          As you read earlier, public transportation can save you a load of cash. It can also save the planet from tons of carbon emissions as well. Many cities are improving their bus fleets and train services after gas prices caused ridership to increase. Take advantage of these good times, and continue to lobby for better public transportation in your area.

2. Buy a Green Car

          If your old car has had enough and is on its last legs you should consider a hybrid or flex fuel car. As far as personal vehicles go, they are the pinnacle of green transportation. A hybrid runs of electricity and gas, and there are models ranging from two door sedans to SUVs. Flex fuel cars can run on either gas or ethanol, which is produced from sugars in vegetable matter. Also consider biodiesel, which can be made from straight vegetable oil.

3. Be a One Car Home

            Back in the 50's and 60's most families in the US only had one car. Now we have at least one car per person, sometimes including teenagers in the family. No wonder our carbon emissions have risen! See if there is any way you can negotiate a one car family. Can one person take the bus to work? Can one person stay home? After all, if you aren't dumping thousands into a car, you don't need to work as hard, do you?

4. Carpool

          Laugh at the solo drivers as you whiz by them in the carpool lane. Carpooling is great green transportation because it not only reduces your carbon footprint, it also give you company in the car. Don't just save carpooling for work either. Pickup a friend and run errands together, it'll be more eco-friendly and more fun.

5. Combine Errands

          Of course, one of the best ways to save fuel and cut emissions is by combining your errands. Try to shop after work or go to the bank during lunch. This will leave you not only with a fuller tank but also with evenings and weekends free of chores that take you out of the house.

6. Walk or Bike

          Statistics show that many people in developed countries are rapidly becoming overweight. Fight the trend by ditching you car and relying on the ultimate green transportation, your feet. If your destination is within a mile, it should be easy to walk, and a few miles are nothing on a bike. Do you have to carry groceries back? Try reusable cloth bags, they are sturdier and more comfortable to carry over a distance than flimsy plastic.

7. Shop or Work from Home

          Currently 44 million people telecommute at least part time. That means they aren't clogging up freeways and spewing CO2 during rush hour, which is great both for their blood pressure (road rage) and also for the environment. You can also shop from home too. Movies, cloths, even groceries, all can be delivered to your door. Who would want to wade through hordes of teenagers at a mall when you can sip coffee and shop in your PJ's?

8. Tune up your Car

          Did you know that in America alone we could save two billion gallons of gas a year if everyone's tires were properly inflated? To make your car a machine of green transportation keep it well maintained. Check the air filter often, and don't skimp on regular oil changes. These little things will help your car live longer and use less gas.

9. Turn off the AC

          Air conditioning may feel great in the summer, but it also gouges your gas mileage deeply. Combat this effect by driving with the windows down and parking in shady areas.

10. Practice Sensible Driving

          Sudden stops and starts and going over the speed limit are all great ways to drastically lower your gas mileage. Green transportation uses fuel efficiently, and all of these driving practices are not efficient. Brake and accelerate slowly, and keep it at or under 55 MPH. For every 5MPH over this speed you lose 10% efficiency in your gas mileage.

Submitted by SuperGreenMe on Oct 3, 2008