Mother Earth Living

10 Quick Tips to Use Less Gas

Save money and reduce your car’s contribution to global warming.
By Letitia L. Star
January/February 2009
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Gas prices may be erratic, but that's no reason for you to use more gas than you need.

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1. EASE UP. Driving the speed limit can increase your gas mileage by up to 23 percent.

2. TAKE THE SHORTCUT. Before traveling cross-country or even in your own neighborhood, find the quickest route (and cheapest local gas prices) at MapQuest or Google Maps.

3. STAY OUT OF JAMS. Stop-and-go traffic burns fuel fast. Learn about traffic delays and scheduled road construction ahead of time by clicking “Driving Directions” at

4. LIGHTEN UP. That charming flea-market furniture you’ve been hauling in your trunk for weeks is a real gas-waster. An extra 100 pounds makes each gallon of gas worth up to 7 cents more.

5. KEEP YOUR TIRES INFLATED. Proper inflation could increase gas mileage by 3 percent. That’s worth about 10 cents per gallon, plus it’s safer and better for your tires.

6. CHOOSE THE RIGHT OIL. Use your car manufacturer’s recommended grade for a 2 percent reduction in fuel use.

7. LOVE YOUR CAR. Replacing clogged air filters and keeping your engine tuned increases gas mileage by up to 14 percent.

8. SAIL ALONG SERENELY. Aggressive driving (speeding, accelerating and braking quickly) wastes gas—up to 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets.

9. COMBINE TRIPS. Combining errands and other trips is an easy way to reduce gas use. Can your trip to the bank wait until you take the kids to the park? 

10. PARK QUICKLY. Don’t circle around—take the nearest spot and walk. That’s good for the environment and for you!

Unlimited Miles, Zero Gallons

For the ultimate gas savings, more Americans are parking their cars and walking or biking. For more information and tips on driving less, visit the National Center for Bicycling and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists.

For More Gas Stretchers: 

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