How Today's Drivers Can Help The EnvironmentHow Today's Drivers Can Help The Environment

With the summers growing longer, the winters getting shorter and drought becoming a problem in more than just the Midwest, the need of humanity all around the globe to help the environment is no longer just an abstract concept. It's a reality-one we're going to have to live with for the rest of our lives. Our environment provides us with the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the homes we live in. Isn't that type of value proposition worth hanging on to?

Since a huge percentage of the damage done to Earth's atmosphere in recent years has been attributed to the sheer quantity of auto emissions given off by vehicles all over the world, it's essential that drivers take the first step to help the environment. The first thing they can do is stay off the roads. While it's neither possible nor practical to avoid driving entirely (unless you live in an urban area with an excellent public transportation system) it is both possible and easy to minimize the amount of time you spend on the road.

Whenever possible, take advantage of your city's public transportation. Walk and bike as much as time and weather permits (providing an environmentally conscious free workout), getting back in touch with the environment you're dedicated to saving. You might not be able to stay off the roads entirely, but every second you don't spend sending emissions into the air counts for something.

When you are driving, try to maintain a steady speed to avoid burning more gas than you have to, and avoid the "peak" traffic hours. (Why can't "they"-the experts-just say "rush hour" like normal people?). Starting and stopping, speeding up then slowing down and driving at speeds greater than 55-60 mph place an unnecessary drain on your gas tank that's going to manifest itself in lower gas mileage and higher emissions. Find a quiet stretch of highway and just drive. It's better for you, your car and the environment than sitting in a line of traffic flashing back to "Office Space".

While no one enjoys getting into a cold car in the winter and a hot car in the summer, it's not going to help the environment if you let your car idle in your driveway. Every minute your car idles the engine is running, which means you're giving off emissions. Remember to turn your car off if you're not actually on the road, and minimize the amount of time you spend adjusting its climate control. It's easier to put a sweater on over your tee-shirt or pull on a pair of gloves than it is to patch a hole in the ozone layer.

Finally, consider investing in a hybrid. The Toyota Prius has been known to get an average of 46-48 miles to the gallon while out on the road, making it a prime candidate for fuel economy. Its electrical system helps take the strain off of the car's gas engine, saving money on gas and emissions into the environment at the same time.

Our environment is an irreplaceable resource. It's up to us to make sure it's still there for our children, which means we have to be responsible drivers and help the environment today to ensure that it's ready for tomorrow-and all the days after.
by Anthony Peck
References and Bibliography
Anthony M. Peck is the Senior Developer, Software Project Manager, and Director of Business Development for QuoteScout.com. For more information about how you can help the environment, visit them on the web at http://www.QuoteScout.com.
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