Mother Earth Living

Lifting My Lead Foot

So, we finally found a new car last weekend! Hurray!

For the past few months, I’ve been looking for a more fuel-efficient car (yes, I will admit it: I’ve been driving a Ford Explorer for the past few years…we needed the space/were desperate when we got it and it’s a sport model!), but with moving into a new place and my many recent business trips, it’s continuously been put on the back burner.

Still, with rising gas prices, we–along with pretty much every other person in America– have been feeling the crunch. We car pool to work (from Lawrence to Topeka, about 25 miles each way), but it’s still eating away at the budget. Plus, I’d much rather be paying my hard-earned money to a car loan than the oil companies. 

We found an 03 Passat…it’s no hybrid, but its EPA rating is over 30 mpg on the highway, and it can do even better depending on how you drive (if you’re looking, check out this handy site, recommended to me by reader Jeff Ganger-thanks, Jeff!). This leads me to one of my favorite features: the car tells you what gas mileage you’re getting as you drive (I know a lot of cars do this, but I’ve never had one). 

Driving to my yoga class last night, I noticed it totally altered the way I drive…”you mean, if I lift my foot off the gas a bit, I get that much better mileage??” It seems so obvious, but I’m a lead foot. I like driving fast and zipping around! Suddenly, I  found myself accelerating more gradually, coasting more often…all the usual tips, but made much easier because I was trying to keep those MPG numbers high.

Though I’m sure this won’t completely change my driving style, it definitely helps make me conscious of the way I drive and that’s sure to lead to improvement.

  • Published on Jul 1, 2008
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