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How to Save The Environment Without Buying a Hybrid.

Do you want to save gas, money and the environment when using your automobile? You don't have a drive a hybrid to be more Earth Friendly. There are several simple green steps that you can take to green your current automobile.  For instance, have you considered only having one automobile? My family is a one car family and has been so for almost 9 years.  Since, most of the work that I do, can be from home and my husband's work is only a few miles away, we are able to live quite happily with one car. At first it did seem a huge inconvenience but I soon found a lot of enjoyment out of walking, biking and busing my way around town. Also not having a car payment didn't hurt either and since our car has been paid off for several years, it has freed up alot of funs for other things in our budget.
 
If you are like my family and want to continue to use the car that you have, you can do so and help the environment at the same time. Here are my simple steps to keep your current car with minimal impact on the environment. Then, when your current car is on its last leg, you can consider one of the many fabulous hybrids and electric vehicles that are hitting the market.
 
1. Drive Less
Have you considered how many places that you may drive to every day that are within walking or biking distance? I prefer to walk or jump on my bike to run errands and get a great workout in the process. My bike has multiple baskets on the front and back so there is always room for groceries, library books or other goodies. In some areas, you may be able to get to work or your errands faster by bike or public transportation, since you can bypass the traffic congestion. How about carpooling? If you live near several of your co workers or friends, this is a fantastic way to catch up with each other, lower the number of cars on the road and save some money at the same time. I really love public transportation because it gives me an excuse to sit back, relax, catch up on the news or read that best seller. Since walking, biking, public transporation and carpooling is so affordable you will have extra funds in your budget. You will also save a lot of money on gasoline, car repairs and maintenance and need for two cars if you drive less.
 
2. Tune it Up
Getting your car tuned up when manufacturers recommends can save you 4-40% on your MPH. Also, when you keep all other auto functions in check and running smoothly will help to avoid untimely and expensive repairs all year long.
 
3. Get Inflated
Each month, check your tire's pressure with a tire pressure gauge. If your tires aren't properly inflated you are wasting hundreds of dollars worth of gasoline each year. It only takes a couple minutes and can save you and the environment big time. You should also have your tires rotated and aligned when the manufacturer recommends to avoid improper wear which can waste gasoline too.
 
4. Clean the Air {Filter}
Make sure your air filter is clean. A dirty and clogged filter will block the air your automobile needs to burn fuel efficiently. You don't have to replace the air filter every time you get an oil change, but you can ask the service attendant it to 'blow it out'.  They will use the air compressor to blow all of the dirt and gunk from the filter, allowing you to use the same air filter for much longer, which will save you money and the landfill in the long run.
 
5. Get A Mug
Do you stop for a morning Cup o Joe on the way to work or a soda pick me up at the end of the day? If so, always keep a reusable stainless steel mug in your car. This will keep you from purchasing a beverage in a cup, can or bottle that will end up in the recycling bin or landfill. Also, did you know that most gasoline stations will let you fill your mug with your choice of beverage for a fraction of the cost of a cup, can or bottle of your favorite beverage. Just ask how much it will cost to "refill" your mug, you will be pleasantly surprised. This little tip will save the environment from countless cups, bottles, lids and straws and will save you some money too.
 
6. Enjoy the Ride {Slow Down}
Did you know that every five miles per hour you go over 60 MPH, you lower your gas mileage? Waste gas by speeding will only cause you to pay for more for gasoline fill ups. Not to mention speeding tickets are bad on your wallet, your insurance rates and possibly your health. So, sit back, relax, listen to your favorite radio program and enjoy the ride. 
 
How do you get around?
What other tips do you use to green your automobile?
Photo Via:: Zach Heller Photography on Flickr

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