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6 Stupidly Simple Steps to Saving Billions of Gallons of Gas

OK...gas prices are getting out of hand, and carbon emissions have been out of hand for a long time. So let's kill two birds with...well...five stones. We generally focus on high-technology here at EcoGeek, and how we can save energy with smart designs. But sometimes, there are simpler ways. In fact, an absolutely tremendous amount of gasoline could be saved in America with some very simple measures. We break it all down and it's cool cialis sale figure out how much gas can be saved with some stupidly simple techniques.

1. Lose Some Weight - 900 M Gallons of Gas
Americans weigh about 24 more pounds per person than we did in the 1970s. That weight, when we're driving, has to be moved around with our cars. Multiplied over the three trillion miles driven in America each year, suddenly we need a lot of gas to move around our extra chub. If we could (preferably through walking and biking) lose those 24 lbs and reach 1970's sizes, America would used nearly one billion gallons of gas less than we currently do.

2. Intelligent Traffic Lights - 1000 M Gallons of Gas
Studies have shown that altering traffic lights to ensure maximum flow can reduce gasoline consumption in cities by between 10% and 20%. Already, lots of places have traffic light systems that use sensors to detect whether or not there are cars in certain lanes and when and how often to change lights. But a great deal of traffic infrastructure is still extremely primitive, and most of it is programmed by hand. Researchers have begun to attempt to create traffic lights that can make decisions for themselves. Stoplights might soon communicate with other nearby lights about when they plan on changing, how much traffic they've seen, and what's been working for them recently to keep traffic flowing. And they will even be able to remember what worked for maximizing flow in the past, and use those same techniques in the future.

3. More Expensive Gas - 450 M Gallons of Gas (so far)
OK, so this isn't necessarily the best solution to our problems. Especially since most people who really need to drive can't afford to pay much more for gas. But 2007 showed the first decrease in the number of miles traveled since the gas crisis of the 70s. As gas prices sored to upwards of $3.00 per gallon, people actually drove less. The amount driven dropped by about 10 billion miles. At the average fleet efficiency of 22 mpg, that's 450 million gallons of gas saved.

4. Drive a Little Slower - 600 M Gallons of Gas (just for semi trucks)
Recently, with diesel prices topping $4.00, Con-Way Freight, owner of one of the largest truck fleets in America, decided that they would decrease the maximum speed their drivers could drive from 65 mph to 62 mph. This will save the company 3.2 million gallons of fuel per year. And that's just ONE trucking company going 3 mph slower! If this was expanded to all 1.5 million semis on American roads, it would save 617 million gallons of fuel! And if it the national speed limit was lowered to 65 mph, the savings would be extreme. Already, the U.S. trucking industry is calling for a decrease in the national speed limit, first because the difference in speed between trucks and cars creates possible safety issues. And second, because it would, ultimately, decrease the price of fuel.

5. More People Per Car - 1500 M Gallons of Gas
If every car in America that transported one person instead transported two people, we'd save about 8 billion gallons of gas per year. But since, y'know, I guess that's unrealistic, we figure we'll aim lower. If just 20% of current drive-only trips became two-passenger carpools, we'd use 1.5 billion fewer gallons of gas per year.

6. Increase Mileage to 35 MPG - 55,000 M Gallons of Gas by 2015
This needs to be said. The current average fuel economy of an American car is 22 mpg. It would be lower if there was no law in place requiring that efficiency. The auto industry has been fighting any increase in that number for decades. We finally have a law on the books that will increase that number to 35 MPG by 2020. But if we, in America, had 35 MPG cars today, like the currently do in Europe, we would use 55 BILLION gallons of gas less. Yes, looking back through the rest of the list, this might seem to trivialize the rest of that work.

But each of these measures will, without a doubt, help us deal with the supply shortages and environmental implications of our massive oil addiction. And while American still consumes roughly 400 million gallons of gasoline per day

Image via RichardMasoner on Flickr

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Comments (81)Add Comment
Gas Mileage
written by Craig, May 07, 2008
I definitely agree about the gas mileage and cialis soft tabs 10 mg going slower. So much is made about raising the speed limits to get you where you are going faster but in the end unless you are taking a cross country trip, you save very little actual time while drasticly reducing your MPG. It would be nice if there was a sight that you could put in your year/make/model of car and then differences in speed to see how it would affect your MPG.
written by Enrique, May 07, 2008
Unfortunately Humans act when there is pain. Norway which is an oil producing country,charges $8.00 per gallon to its citizens.
The only thing is going to change American's habits is when a gallon of gasoline reaches $8.00.
Slow down - save gas
written by Shay, May 07, 2008
I've started going between 60-65 on the freeways. I know after many years of driving my car that that's its sweet spot. I get some irritated looks from people as they pass me on a 70mph freeway(probably trying to figure out if I'm elderly or on my cell phone!), but I can coax about 20 miles more out of my 12 gallons of gas that way. Worth it to me.
written by Ivo, May 07, 2008
What's wrong with a smaller car?
35 MPG cars
written by BBM, May 07, 2008
But if we, in America, had 35 MPG cars today, like the currently do in Europe,

We already have plenty of cars that get 35 MPG here. People just haven't been buying them. The other suggestions are no brainers, though.

Fuel Price
written by Leuke Marriott, May 07, 2008
Here in Australia, we pay around $1.40 a liter for fuel.. Is it about 4 liter's to the gallon? that would be $5.50 a gallon. But so many people still drive, and they don't car pool. I hate that. It would be so easy to car pool, and you wouldn't even put out. There would be so many people living in the same area, going to the same area...
written by Josh, May 07, 2008
I don't think we could really lower the speed limit on the interstates. I tried to drive 60 from Texas to Florida once. It ended up adding an extra day to the trip, so the extra hotel night made up for the gas savings. I do drive slower around town. Shay is right. On the freeway, 5-10 mph doesn't matter that much.

Also, times are changing a bit. Americans are buying more small cars and a lot less trucks. It's so bad that Chrysler is offering a deal where you can lock in $2.99/gallon on new vehicles, even those big Hemi-Dodge Rams. It's a sign they are having a lot of trouble selling them.

We just bought a new Chevy Colorado, and the much bigger Silverado, with much worse gas mileage, was stickered at only a few hundred more than the small truck. Times are certainly changing here.
written by Brittany Toman, May 07, 2008
My husband and I made the best prices on brand levitra decision about three months ago change our habits of driving everywhere and use bikes. We don't live in a major city, so this was a big deal to us. My husband bikes to work everyday and I use my bike with a children's bike trailer attached whenever I need to do an errand within a ten mile radius. We downsized from two cars that each used a tank a week to one car that used less than half a tank in two weeks. Not only do we feel better, but it's an such a pleasant experience. I'd say if you can make the change, go for it! At first it's hard, but oh-so-rewarding.
Bad news about 35MPG cars and expensive
written by Anonymous, May 07, 2008
I bought one 35MPG unleaded-87 car in 2004 when the price of a gallon was about $1.49. I've reduced trips to see my family -- the last time I saw most of them was a funeral in 2006. I've reduced my vacations, because hey, who can afford to fly or drive anymore? The reason people drive less when gas is expensive is because they can't afford to drive. And if it gets much worse I won't be able to continue working. I'm not hundreds of miles from work, I'm 7 miles from work. And I'm missing a leg. And the bus stops 3/4 mile from work. And I'm the starter at 5AM, meaning that if they installed a bus stop, it wouldn't help at all. And good luck finding a carpool at the asscrack of dawn.

So here's an idea. Focus on efficient vehicles. I don't care if it's an SUV speeding past me as long as it's at least getting 25MPG -- better than most of the sedans my overpaid management drives! Or, vehicles that you can seamlessly toggle between performance and economy. Better traffic systems, as you mentioned. Alternative fuels that don't rob us of food (also on the rise, thank you so much Mr. Government) such as compressed-air and viagra overnite hydrogen. Better batteries and plug-in hybrids.
Slower Trucks
written by nicster, May 07, 2008
One of the problems with lowering the speed of trucks is that the drivers are incented to drive faster. Often, they're paid by the load or by the trip so the faster they get done, the more they get paid. They also have limits on how many hours they can be on the road each day.

The first problem can be helped by incenting drivers to drive slower. Maybe giving them a bonus if they keep mpgs over a certain limit. The second problem is probably harder to fix.

With regards to cars and trucks in general I know that for me, simple awareness helps. My latest car has an mpg display. It gives me much more immediate feedback on my driving habits than the old method of checking the mileage at the next fill-up. If all cars had constant mpg displays drivers would have better tools to help decrease usage.
MPG Monitor
written by Josh, May 07, 2008
I purchased a Scan Guage II online. It is a pretty good device that gives instant feedback, doesn't cost too much and works on everything from 1996 on up. It's how I get over 25 mpg in my car for city driving when it's only rated for 20.
Fat people
written by Tordus Elshevek, May 07, 2008
The government should make a tax on fat people. A sliding scale can be designed that provides an incentive for fat people to reduce their weight.

The airlines should also put seat surcharges on fat people.

Why should fat people use thin people's resources without paying extra for it?
Tire Pressure
written by Meredith, May 08, 2008
I drive a Civic Hybrid (usually getting 45-50 MPG) and one of the coolest features is that I have a gage that shows instant MPG and the average MPG for the "trip". Over the past several years, this has really highlighted how important it is to have properly inflated tires. I always know that when my MPG drops a few, I check the tire pressure, which is usually low. Majority of the time, once I have properly inflated tires again, my MPG is back to normal.
written by Lex, May 08, 2008
We could start driving standard transmissions again, that would change our gasoline consumption drastically. Neutral stops, much lower revs at highway speeds, etc. Fuel consumption is not so much a factor of speed as it is one of rpm's. The vehicle traveling at 70mph turning 1500 rpm vs the same vehicle at the same speed turning 2500 rpm is filling the total engine displacement 1000 fewer times per minute. (it doesn't take long for that to add up)

Many automatic transmissions in production today have only four gears. And while five and six speed automatics exist (and are becoming more common), it is much cheaper/easier to build a five or six speed standard transmission than an automatic with the same number of gears.
written by T, May 08, 2008
I've been reading a book called Factor 4, and it talks about rewarding companies for the resources it saves instead of the resources it sells. Are there ANY monetary incentives for gas companies to sell less of what it has?
written by Harry Ulm, May 08, 2008
Your information/knowledge of automatic transmissions is old and limited. The RPMs at highways speeds are usually identical or the automatic will have lower RPMs.

Since the advent of the lockup torque convertor there has been no RPM disparity. Your example of 70MPH 1500RPM versus 2400RPM is ridiculous.
written by Srini, May 08, 2008
Why no one is talking about public transport system?
written by Virgil, May 08, 2008
You forgot #7 - DON'T DRIVE!

In all seriousness, this list is a joke when you consider the major issue here is the design of our country's infrastructure. In my home city (the 3rd largest in NY) I could take a bus to work - if I didn't mind working from 9am to 4pm and waiting for an hour - that's right - one bus per hour for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week - for a city of a million people!

The interstate system was designed for moving BETWEEN cities, and was never ever meant for commuting INTO cities, but as soon as the developers cottoned on to cheap land prices (and cheap gas), the suburbs were born, and we're all doomed to deal with the consequences.

As a life-long inner city dweller, I sincerely look forward to the idiots who bought McMansions 30 miles outside town, banging on the door to buy my house because they can't afford to get to work anymore. Tough doodoo brother - you should have thought about it before you plunked down the cash for that shiny SUV.

It will take decades to retrofit the infrastructure of this country, to account for past mistakes. Billions of dollars for fitting light railways, public transport, better facilities in downtowns, walkable communities. Until we begin to address this problem, the whole debate about gas usage is just "running up the down elevator"

James Howard Kunstler's book "The Geography of Nowhere" is a must-read for anyone interested in the topic.
written by AndyM, May 08, 2008
Running up the down elevator? Wouldn't one get crushed that way?
written by AndyM, May 08, 2008
No, the Interstate system was designed to move armies. The fact that civilians could also use it was simply a bonus, one that made the expense palatable. And I don't consider how we used it to be a "mistake" in any fashion. Human beings make decisions based on the situation as it is, or at least as we interpret it. Monday-morning quarterback it all you like, enjoy your premature schadenfreude all you like, it does not make these people any more stupid than someone who spends two million for a property on the Upper West Side.

As for me, I live in the "near-burbs". My house is in the middle of my own private forest, but I am five miles from the state capital. I would have bought property downtown, but paying $500 a square foot made no sense for my family when I could pay $60.

As for those who bought homes 30 miles out of town (and not all of them are "McMansions") what I see coming is an increase in more local shops and such for them. That combined with more employers allowing people to work from home, which will increasingly become a significant perk that costs the employer little, I see a great deal of adaptation coming.

It is hubris to assume that your "inner city" life means that you live in the center of the universe.
Stop Stupid Political gestures.
written by Ashb, May 08, 2008

Don’t subside gas, Instead of Gas tax holiday, subside high mileage Cars. If people trade in a gas guzzler's and buy a high Mileage car, give them a tax break.
written by Ben, May 08, 2008
This might be a bit selfish, too, but it's damn sure green. I'm a computer programmer, and I commute to work everyday. Thankfully it's only 10 miles (my old job was 40), but I do drive because there's no good way to go via mass transit. But there's honestly no reason for me to be here at all. Telecommuting would use no gas (and I've signed up for a green electric option at home). Obviously not every job is one that can be done remotely, but like so many other things, there can be significant benefits to a company that lets employees who can telecommute do so. It's just inertia that keeps them doing things the old way. Maybe some tax incentives for companies that allow it would help (though it's hard to check up on). Or maybe more and levitra online us more employees clamoring for it as gas prices continue to rise will do it. Here's hoping.
Re: Ben
written by AndyM, May 08, 2008
Even such things as allowing 4-10 schedules or 8-9s and an 8 (with every other Friday off) would work wonders. Even better would be where you work from home on MWF and go in to the office on TTh. Meetings and such could be planned for the latter.
written by MarkR, May 08, 2008
Tordus Elshevek said, "The government should make a tax on fat people."

Thats exactly why my wife and I got rid of our UT football season tickets, Everyone is alloted 24 inches, and to many people have a A$$ bigger than that. because of all the morbidly obease people sitting around us We were starting to feel like couple of pimples being squeezed, afraid we were going to get shot out on the field. Large people should pay a surcharge for their size, flights should make them buy two seats and we should have extra wide spaces that they charge more at events for the big people.
written by MarkR, May 08, 2008
AndyM schooling Virgil.

I'm with ya Andy. I'm on the economic development board for my Texas burb. And we are growing by leaps and bounds in this recession as business are moving in. a positive 12% growth this year so far. over 20% growth the last 2 years. And I'm not talking new houses. I'm talking only the business growth. And your right most big city folk think, they are the center of the universe. I agree there will be more smaller shops in the future in the burbs, because I'm seeing it happen right now. The burbs will and are becoming stand alone city's. City people that think everyone should live they way they do have swallowed to much of their own Kool Aid.

Also you should school Virgil on the fact that a lot of stretches of interstate are also made to land large Air Force Cargo/troop transports.
Save even more!
written by VicinSea, May 08, 2008
7) Producing the bottles for American consumption required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil, not including the energy for transportation. Add in the transportation, pickup of used bottles, and refrigeration and it equals 49 Million Barrels of Oil.

smilies/cool.gif Shut your car off in drive ups and online pharmacies at traffic lights(and especially at school pick-up zones!). The US would save 650,000 barrels of oil per day/ 228 MILLION barrels a year.

9) Switch out incandescent bulbs for CFLs. If half of all light bulbs in the US were CFLs, we would save 400 Million Barrels of oil per year.

10) Telecommute or switch to 4 10 hour days.

11) Grow food or buy local food.

Cut even more waste by banning shoddy plastic toys, excessive packaging, and cheap plastic anything. Nothing should be made to throw away. Everything should be durable and recyclable. Period.

Nuclear - just look again for once, it's
written by Deathlyric, May 08, 2008
The atom releases more energy by far. It could be used (day and night) to electrolysize(sp.) water. Hydrogen is clean, but yes has draw backs in storage and transmission. Or nuclear for electric plugins. Don't box yourself in, you really don't want to live in the 19th century.
Drive Less
written by David G, May 08, 2008
What about simply driving less? Move closer to the city or somewhere near a solid public transportation system. Or even better, find a job that will let you telecommute!

My wife and I intentionally moved closer to a nice train route. It's about five minutes to get down to the train (so the noise never bothers us). All of the time spent on the train is reclaimed on the laptop, reading. or talking on the phone. The cost of the train pass is less than parking in the city. We only have to insure one vehicle (saves us another $100/mo), not to mention our savings in gas.

All this and it's good for the environment. It's been a win win for us! If your employer covers parking, ask if you can substitute for a transit pass. It usually works out cheaper for them anyways.
written by Slurry, May 08, 2008
Do what race drivers do -- loose the spare, carpet, door panels, radio, AC etc. -- lighten the car. I heard that every seven pounds equals one horsepower. Then, be unsafe, decrease the rolling resistance and over-inflate your tires. Then, most importantly, drive like breaking is your enemy. Every time you break, you're turning fuel into wasted heat.
written by arw, May 08, 2008
really nice article. if all of these ideas were implemented 20 years ago, we would have had totally different situation today.
Re: Slow down - save gas
written by Nate, May 08, 2008
There is a lot to be said about slowing down, but not everyone will do it. What is really needed is some driver re-education. I've spent quite a bit of time in Germany, and while the high speeds on the Autobahn are fun, what really interests me is the fluidity of the traffic flow (at least away from major cities). Drivers there follow the rules of the road (and there are any more than here) and because of that things go smoothly. Now if everyone who wanted to go 60-65 mph here drove exclusively in the right lane, always allowing people to pass on the left, traffic would flow faster and steadier. Another great way to save gas is to drive at the same speed, for which cruise control is great, but very few people use it. I use it all the time and need a prescription for viagra it increases my highway mpg by 1-3 depending on speed, but the effectiveness drops off when the person in front of me oscillates between 55 and 70, always speeding up when I finally go to pass them.
Density is Diversity
written by PJD, May 08, 2008

The only catch with that model for suburbs is whether there is a high enough density and diversity of businesses to have positions for both of a two income family.

In days past when women tended to be either a homemaker or in a fairly transportable profession such as teaching or clerical, it was easy for a family to move to a suburb convenient to Dad's work. Now women are making wonderful contributions in every field imaginable. Thus, often in the suburban sprawl model, the family is left with a dilemma of being close to one job and way far from the other, or splitting the difference. Urban centers offer the possibility of enough diversity to support two careers within mass transit range.

Personally, I don't think suburbs will die. I just think PHEVs will become an expense that has to be factored into the suburban economic equation.
Other ways?
written by William Nett, May 08, 2008
Slowing down definitely helps. Air pressure in my tires... check. Removing the unneeded back seats from my minivan... check. Regular oil changes... check. Regular tune-ups... check. Car pooling... check. Saved lots last year!
speed difference between trucks and cars
written by anonymous, May 08, 2008
"because the difference in speed between trucks and cars creates possible safety issues"

this is stupid imho. Seriously, it's so much easier and more safe the way california regulates truck driving than any other state (i know the truck drivers hate it though). seriously, what is more safe, a car trying to pass a semi truck going 67 mph or a car trying to pass a semi truck going 57 mph? they also create traffic congestion the same way a cop going 65 (in a 65 zone) does, if the truck (or cop) were to go 10mph less than the rest of commuter traffic the congestion is greatly reduced.
US Citizen
written by Dickens, May 08, 2008
How much fuel is wasted for the sake of entertainment? I realize that many people make their living driving race cars while others are watching cars speed around a track. Or, they watch huge trucks jump over cars. It's big bucks! Lots of money to be made by sponsors. And support people who earn their living this way. But it also wastes the precious supply of fuel for the sake of amusement. Does this make sense? There must be other way of amusing yourself. But that takes imagination. Or, do we just continue to burn it up until it is gone?
traffic lights are not built to flow tra
written by anonymous, May 08, 2008
another comment that just chaps my hide... cities have no vested interest in improving traffic (be it public transit or intelligent traffic lights, but i will focus on lights for this comment). why? because speeding tickets would go down. red-light violations would go down. some cities are actually reducing the time of the yellow light simply to increase revenue of red light violation tickets.

so the priority goes for the city: 1) maximize profitability of the city by taking money from the working class, 2) safety, ... 99) travel efficiency.

if travel efficiency were #1, safety should also benefit (less cars on the road, less accidents. smarter lights yields less yellow and red light running. less road rage, etc). it never will be #1 or even close though, because traffic is a huge profit center for most cities. (unjustly so in my opinion.)

someone said a limited city budget should impact the viability of smart traffic lights too, and limited funds should be allocated to something more important like education. I have to call BS on that. smart traffic lights are very nearly a one-time investment (minimal repairs would be required for sensors & cameras) that would reap 20% fuel savings to the entire city? uhh... what's more important than that? do that once and every family has how much more money to spend on their own family however they see fit for every year to come, and the city can invest in important things like education later too. the sooner a city improves their traffic management the sooner they start saving money and that saved money is only going to continue for as long as people commute.

if the government was actually here to serve the people then smart traffic lights would've been mandatory a long time ago.
written by realist, May 08, 2008
Where is the one about SUVs being made illegal? save 1/3 of u.s. consumption.

These people support terrorism...
Telecommuting 2 and not driving 2
written by PaulR, May 08, 2008
I would like to add my voice to the call for more telecommutting, and I would love it if someone would calculate this one:

Go to your job and look around the office and try to figure how many people at your office work on a computer, how much time they are "alone" on a computer, and how much they really need to talk to others to do the work they do "on a computer." I did this sort of exercise at the school board I worked at once, and I literally counted one person that had to be in the office 100percent of the time to do their job, out of a staff of about 60 people. (It was the janitor). Oh, and by the way, not one person in that whole staff was allowed to work at home, not even for one day a week, no one.

I am pretty sure that is not an unusual situation. And though I wouldn't call for all companies to empty offices and allow staff to work at home continually, I really can't see the logic in not letting people work from home at least 2 or maybe 3 days a week, at least in offices where quiet concentrated computer work is concerned.

Oh, so basically I am also agreeing with the other guy... It is about not driving after all, and not about finding solutions as to how to continue driving.

If we did all have cars that get 35 miles to the gallon, all that would do would be to give us an excuse to drive more and buy more cars. And that can't happen! (Because there are just too many others around the world who will soon be getting cars... i.e. Chinese, then Africans, etc.). The solution is to stop driving, pure and simple. The question is just how that can be accomplished.
If you can, give up the car altogether
written by Laars Johnsen, May 08, 2008
I live in west Los Angeles, and my wife and I just made the decision to decrease from 2 cars to one. I've just gone from commuting in a $60k Mercedes convertible to Segway, bike and bus. All things considered, I save over $13,000 per year.
written by Jim, May 08, 2008
Simpler still, prohibit drive-thru service at fast food restaurants, banks, cleaners and such. Park your car, turn off the engine and go in. You’ll survive.
3 steps to a new age
written by Mojomann, May 08, 2008
3 steps to solve all our problems: trucks, trains, and power plants. If we have companies rethink their supply chains to have local trucks pick up product from rail yards, that would slice a big chunk out of the problems we face: less traffic, less pollution, and less roadwork.
The train system, which will now be the primary transporter of products, still runs on Diesel. Millions and Millions of Gallons of Diesel. So what's the solution? Electric Trains! America needs to catch up with the rest of the world and canadian online pharmacy viagra convert to electric trains.
All those new trains need power. A large percentage of our national power grid runs Gasoline Power Plants. Solution? Build Nuclear Power Plants! Modern Plants, like the Pebble Bed Reactor in use in Europe are far safer than they were 50 years ago and provide a maximum of energy at a minimum of pollution (that's right- nuclear wastes less than coal or gas plants). Alternative energy, like wind or solar power just don't pack the Megawatts that are desperately needed.
After eliminating these key ingredients, not only will our consumption of fossil fuels plummet but so will the demand, crashing the price of gas to pre-Bush levels. Not that you will need it, what with the modern, comfortable, and convenient train service that this new age will bring about.
Slower speed doesn't mean fuel savings
written by Barius, May 08, 2008
@the people advocating slower speeds in the city

Cars are *engineered* to be their most efficient at ~60mph. Faster or slower than that wastes fuel. So, slowing down inner-city traffic even more than it already is just makes you an idiot.

Further, the most wasteful part of driving in the city is acceleration. So, if you really want to reduce wasted fuel in the city accelerate slower, and avoid areas with successive traffic lights/stops. But for fraks sake, don't cruise at 25 if the posted speed is 35 because you're not just pissing me off, you're wasting gas.

Of course, if we simply adopted a more European style laissez-faire attitude and removed the stop signs/lights in favor of yields and round-abouts you'd find we could save enormous amounts of fuel. There is also quite a bit of evidence that doing so reduces the number of accidents as bad drivers are actually more likely to slow down for a yield than they are for a stop.
written by Bob, May 08, 2008
Fuel efficiency at speed depends on your gearing, my car 01 aurora 4.0 gets 25mpg weather im going 65 or 80 , the car has a built in mpg sensor, my friends comaro get peak fuel efficacy at 90mph because of his gearing, more speed dose not always equal better fuel economy.
written by Nano, May 08, 2008
Few more simple steps.

1)Keep your tires in check.
2)Taking off from lights and stop signs like a douche does nothing but cost you money and waste more fuel.
Definitely yes on telecommuting
written by Greg, May 09, 2008
Ben is right on. We need to start recognizing that so many people provide no additional value by transporting themselves back and forth from home to an office space five times a week. I alone drive 500 miles a week for a job that I could largely do over the phone and via VPN.

Getting people to drive more slowly is an exercise in futility.
written by Josh, May 09, 2008
A tax on fat people!? Are you freaking kidding!? Healthy food already costs more than unhealthy food. I have a job where I have to stay in shape, but we can't have Big Brother watching everyone do exercises every morning. Though I guess some of you wish we could.

I also think some people are just hoping for an apocalypse and a total collapse of our society. They don't realize that we adapt and move on. Even when oil peaks I'm betting our ingenuity, not to mention corporate greed (lol), will allow us to keep on going.
telecommuting indeed
written by Greg, May 09, 2008
Ben is absolutely right. We need to start recognizing that many people provide no added value transporting themselves back and forth from home to office five days a week. I alone drive 500 miles a week for a position that I could largely cover via cell phone and VPN.

Getting people to drive more slowly will be an exercise in futility.
Save gas or evolve to better alternative
written by BrianR, May 09, 2008
Guys, I really think we are trying to walk with a broken foot here. Instead of putting a band aid on it we need to fix the real problem. I bought these books in November from and did what it says which is very old invention that was suppressed. I am getting much better mpg almost double before. So, I think the technologies are already available, we just have to look for it.
Save gas or evolve to better alternative
written by BrianR, May 09, 2008
I tried posting this before...anyway here goes again. We can't band aid a broken foot, instead we need to fix the problem. I bought these books from and followed, installed per the manual...getting much better mpg almost double before. The technologies are already out there, look for it and don't let big oil dictate to us!
written by Leo, May 09, 2008
Empty your trunk of all but emergency items. Yeah, that means you too, Big Bertha.
Tax incentives for companies that encour
written by Nonchalant Savant, May 09, 2008
I agree with Ben. I live 20 miles from my office (Dallas suburb - work near downtown). MOST days I could work from home, but my boss is still a bit "old school" when it comes to telecommuting.

I think a number of companies are a bit paranoid that workers will not do their work if working from home, but for salaried employees, it simply makes sense. Millions of gallons of gas could be saved daily.

It's also my contention that salaried employees can't game the telecommute system for long. EVENTUALLY work has to get done, or an employee would be reprimanded and/or fired. Workplace Darwinism.

This simple and effective solution is rarely discussed.
written by Lex, May 09, 2008
Well excuse my ridiculousness. My girlfriend's car actually does turn 2400 rpm at 70mph (2000 model year) and winds itself up unnecessarily with every acceleration. As opposed to cars i've owned with smaller engines that could run at well less than 2000 rpm @ 80mph.

So, Harry, you're saying that a standard transmission just doesn't get better mileage than an automatic? You may be right, especially if we all trade our cars in every two years to get the latest admirable, eco-sensitive thing to do, no? But my old, limited knowledge of how to use a clutch sure seems to make a difference. And those high-mileage Europeans seem to agree with me, since as of not many years ago they still drove mostly standard transmissions.

But i see your point, it's always better to use many more pieces and a more complicated manufacturing process to achieve the same end result...especially if you're trying to save the Earth. Perhaps we're in need of a little more eco and a little less geek.
I can't drive less
written by Food or Fuel, May 09, 2008
One thing that these smart people are forgetting is that most of us little people can't drive less. The only time I drive is to work and where can i buy real levitra food shopping. And don't tell me to buy a smaller, more fuel efficient car. (for $20k) It would take years for me to break even. My older car is paid for and the insurance is cheap. Do the math! At this point, our only choice is to eat or go to work.
written by Pete, May 09, 2008
While Harry may be right about RPMs once you settle on a speed, automatics do tend to shift at higher RPMs while accelerating than one could manage with a stick (i.e. short-shifting). So Lex was on the right track. Shifting gears between 1500-2000 RPMs is significantly cheaper than shifting at 2500ish. I know: I used to get 23.5mpg in my 6-speed driving like I have for years. Now that I cautiously short-shift (I don't get carried away, putting undue stress on the car by running RPMs less than idle), I average 28.1mpg. With a 15 gallon tank that's almost 70 more miles per tank.
written by TheWalruus, May 09, 2008
Hypermilers often talk about the psychological effect of driving with a real time fuel consumption display. If such displays were available (standard?) on new vehicles and one could actually see the (significant) consumption costs of inefficient driving, I believe that it would have an immediate and profound effect on our national fuel economy. After all, it becomes just another video game--and we love those: try keep the little number on the dash in the single digits smilies/wink.gif
written by MichiganMike, May 09, 2008
* If this is serious then all spectator sports should be televised ONLY. No fans, concessions, souvenirs, etc and all the associated gasoline usage. Think College/Pro football, basketball, NASCAR, MLB. No Save the World concerts.... etc, etc.
Unfortunately, we have a world market and it is a whole new ballgame (pun intended).
Some points
written by Manuj, May 10, 2008
If this hampers, Let's move the road. Why authorities have inhibitions using unimodal transport. It is as flexible as a car, uses much less ground- or maybe magnetic conveyors. I have written many articles on city matrix and they all intend to arrive at the same. You can see blogs at
written by insui, May 11, 2008
Yes, as one other person commented: first on your list should be DON'T DRIVE or maybe at least, give up driving one day a week. In the Second World War (when gas was rationed) the going motto was: Is this trip necessary?

Fast forward a few decades to the ME Generation. Remember when video rentals were first in stores? How many trips did people make just to get or return a video?

Reframing what our true needs are versus our indulgent whims could transform the planet. How did we ever get to the belief that we have unlimited and we use it where buy cialis inherent rights to use up the planet for our own immediate wants?
re: one day a week
written by AndyM, May 11, 2008
I would love to give up driving one or more days a week. However, I don't consider going to work, earning a living, feeding my family, etc., to be pursuing my "indulgent whims."

Okay, insui, I will give up driving on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Monday. Please call my boss and explain the situation.
Parked the Hemi
written by Bill Severin, May 11, 2008
Yup! I parked the truck and now ride the Harley to work. Gas mileage went from 13 mpg to 41 mpg.
Now I ride in the HOV lane and get to work quicker. What a concept!!
Some of us have no choice but to drive
written by LydiaS, May 11, 2008
Being that I live out of town about 10 miles and the only realistic way into town is the freeway and I'm 6 months pregnant, and there is no bus service here, I have no choice but to drive to and from work every day.

I save gas by SLOWING DOWN and keeping my vehicle maintained. Before I started paying attention to this, my already fuel-efficient '91 honda civic was getting around 30 mpg. After comprehensive tune up and buy branded cialis the decision to drive 55-60 mph on the highway instead of 65-70, my mpgs went up to 40! That's 25% increase. The research shows the "average" savings of slowing even from 75 to 65 is approximately 17-20% depending on vehicle type (size) and engine size. The maintenance thing is a biggie too because, on average, the dirtiest 10% of cars spew out the bulk of the pollution and even minor things like proper tire inflation can help.
written by Nate, May 11, 2008
Yep, I also got suckered into clicking on this. What stupid suggestions. I cant read anymore of the comments either, just stupidness.
written by Eileen, May 11, 2008
I have a mini cooper and on my tachometer it has a digital indicator that tells me how much gas I'm using depending on my speed. And my car is a 2003.
I know other cars have this. Problem is making stupid people see the connection. Which is always the hardest thing to do.
written by Art H, May 11, 2008
I have a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee rated at 15 city 20 hwy. I consistently get 18/22 and have gotten as high as 25 hwy of some trips. All I do is inflate the tires to 38-39 pounds and drive using common sense. I am considering getting some tires that I can inflate to 50 pounds.

I would love to have a Jeep that get 35-40 MPG, but they do not make it yet. From 2003 on, they just put bigger engines in the Jeep. First, the Hemi 5.7 and then the Hemi 6.2. Yes, they are faster, but gas mileage went down with each one. Jeep will not another penny from me until they make a Jeep that is a lot more efficent than anything they currently are offering.

My next car purchase will hopefully be an electic which I can plug in and power of my home power which will be solar powered... when the solar power becomes a practical choice.
We need t o change our thinking
written by Jose, May 11, 2008
In a Pollyanna world, everyone will slow down, ride bikes to work(try doing this in the middle of the winter or summer!) and take public transportation. Realistically, it is not going to happen. Americans love to go fast, weather/safety is a big issue with bicycles and a good well-planned public transportation system is almost non-existent in certain areas.
The only way people will change behavior is thru consequences or laws. Laws that lower the speed limit and force people to slow down and laws that manufacturers have to produce high efficiency cars/trucks(reportedly currently approved in the US). Another (more expensive idea) is for towns to build a centrally located "all-inclusive" shopping/entertainment complex that will decrease the drives to malls and best price for generic viagra food stores. Expanding a public transportation system would be ideal but the cost most times will run into the billions.
Of course, the best way to change behaviors is thru the pocket book - big homes. big cars/trucks = big bucks to fuel/cool/heat.
written by Joan, May 12, 2008
Re: BrianR's comments re: - Ecogeek also is advertizing another site which, I want to believe is reputable. But my partner, who has a strong science background says this idea of HHS or brown gas (using electricity from a car to hydrolize water and get an increase in fuel efficiency) is thermodynamically impossible. I have tried to investigate, but don't trust the assessing websites, though they claim to have tested the different available kits for efficiency, ease of conversion, etc. Hank, can Ecogeek shed any light on this? Or, is anyone out there a physicist? Thanks
Make your own "gas" and save save save!!
written by Wayne, May 12, 2008

Love your article - Petrol and Diesel here in the UK have increased considerably also, we pay £1.10 for unleaded, with diesel at £1.20.

We featured a great article the other day on self brewing of bio-diesel. UK legistlation lets you brew 2500 litres of your own fuel!

Keep up the good work,

Wayne -
Let those who drive decide
written by Green Driver, May 12, 2008
I like your article but I am against forcing people to slow down. I drive at 62 on the highway and have increased my mileage by 23%(I used to go 80).

Let those who drive decide!
superfluous protoplasm
written by Steven, May 12, 2008
I say keep energy prices high and make sure that they stay that way, giving people incentive to decrease consumption and firms incentives to develop less energy intensive methods of production over he long run. The gas tax holiday is a subsidy to the OLD way of doing things; it's protectionism of the past instead of incubation of the future. The only way forward is by recognizing that the past (cheap energy) is behind us and embracing the changes we need to make.

Drive less. Bike more. Install motion-detectors in your light switches so that when no one's in the room, the light goes off. Install geothermal heating with a tankless water heater backup.

It's really not rocket science, we just have to keep high energy prices so that we have incentives to change.
Public transit and cheaper hybrids
written by Robyn, May 12, 2008
I have to say that my area (near a pretty big city) has a pretty nice transit system, and one that is constantly improving. My dad buys a pass for 60 bucks (well, acutally less thanks to an employer that lets you buy them through the company before tax) a month to ride any public bus or metro system all month long. He's got a 40 minute drive to work every day that we don't have to pay for. It would cost that 60 dollars at LEAST every week for the gas it takes for that trip alone.

Unfortunately, within the city I live in, the transit's not that great. I'm a college student, driving whatever I can get my hands on, so even though I would LOVE to have a hybrid car, or at least something that gets a little better gas mileage, I can't afford it. Then, of course the gas is getting ever more expensive, making it hard to keep paying for it, so like many I'm screwed both ways. Those are some good tips up there and i'll definitely be checking ways to shave what I can off my mileage.
The Izzle
written by izzle, May 13, 2008
These tips seem really simple and common sense because they are. It is the small improvements that will get us large gains in the future. I'm a Mechanical Engineer, and whenever we had a manufacturing course we always talked about TPS (Toyota Production System). Toyota revolutionized the car manufacturing industry with small tweaks and constant improvement. These tips may seem insignificant now but once they're applied the difference will be clear. Thanks you tree huggers.
Who has extra money?
written by melody, May 13, 2008
I don't understand why people think just because they have these expensive new "green" cars that everyone has the money to buy them. My Dad died the week I bought my first house. I ended up paying lots of money for a funeral and don't have money to keep up with travel expenses now and such. I have been looking for a new job that would be much closer to my home but in the mean time its tough. Even organic food is expensive. Its great to complain but unless you really know what the american people are up against. Solar panels, tankless water heaters, and all these wonderful green things are just wind blowing through my ears. When are they going to help us to afford all these $$$$ expensive "green" energy saving things!
written by Mitch, May 13, 2008
More drastically - show pictures of the injured and maimed people of the country where freedom is being sold and oil is being procured(at their expense) to people who are complaining about being stuck in their traffic commute! Should we be priveledged to waste the fuel that others are being killed and the best place cialis femele maimed for?
written by kornkob, May 13, 2008
I find the notion of saving 55 billion gals. by increasing vehicle efficiency to 35 mpg unbelievable and I'm glad it will happen.

I agree with some posters that forcing people to slow down to 55 mph, carpooling, or driving less to be a hard sell to the average American.

There are certainly other ways to save fuel. If possible and weather permitting; drive a scooter instead of a car. I own a scooter and during the warmer months I use it all the time. I have storage space so I can comfortably fit a grocery bag or two in the basket, and a case of my favorite beverage on the floorboard. It gets around 80 mpg and does 40-45 mph. It gets me to work and helps me with errands. It's not for everyone but it does fill a niche.

We use so many gas powered tools and equipment nowadays that making these things run on battery packs or an extension cord could save a lot of gas. I think a company has developed a plug-in lawnmower that can run 30-45 min. under load before needing recharged. I've also let my lawn grow a little taller which reduces the number of times I cut it in the summer.

I read somewhere that around 15 million gallons of fuel is spilled every year in the U.S. trying to fill outdoor power equipment.

I have a couple bicycles but don't use them as often as I should. It certainly is great exercise but I have breathing and allergy issues and mexico viagra live where it's windy so I don't pedal much anymore.

Some great ideas from the author and the posters!
Fewer trucks
written by Cadwaladr, May 13, 2008
It would undoubtedly be unpopular among truck drivers (of whom I used to be one), but getting rid of a lot of the trucks and using more trains would be much better. A fully-loaded semi truck gets five, maybe six miles to the gallon. At the end of the day, especially in winter or summer, drivers often leave their engines idling all night for heat or cooling, using about a gallon per hour.
written by Cadwaladr, May 13, 2008
Trucks get about 110 ton-miles to the gallon, as opposed to 400 for freight trains.
The End Is Near
written by John, May 16, 2008
Energy problems are a thing of the past. Well, that's what John Christie and Lou Brits, scientists and inventors in Australia claim. They've invented an electric motor/generator which produces 5 times more electrical energy than it uses. It seems poetic for a couple Aussies to turn the laws of physics upside down. Here's a job for the ecogeek. Is this claim real or just down under poetry?

Check out
some suggestions not mentioned
written by S, May 17, 2008

Remove the impediments to gas mileage the Government has forced on consumers. All those gadgets they put on the cars and trucks that actually REDUCE mileage. One of my friends recently bought a new Diesel engine truck, and if they took all the government things off, then they'd probably get 7 miles more a gallon minimum. The same is true with gas powered cars.

Allow bikes on Highways and Interstate Highways. Yeah, there might be a few people that would ride a moped if they'd put a slow vehicle / bike lane on the side of the road. Again, government prevention is the root cause.

Leave the limit where it is or raise it
written by GTmaster, May 25, 2008
By lowering the limit we would only take the pressure off of the drivers wasting the most oil in their not needed low mpg SUVs & Pickups .

We should apply pressure by raising limits not lowering them & raising the price at the pump to force US drivers to choose fuel efficient options like light duty diesels . These clean very fuel efficient options that have no trouble hitting mid 40s to mid 50s mpgUS today could fill our roads overnight if we chose as a country . These mpgs are more than possible in not small vehicles like the Audi A4 , A6 even A8 or the VW Polo , Jetta , Golf , New Beetle , Passats Touareg , Tiguan , & Touran all TDI turbo diesels .

I have a 1997 Passat TDI clean computer controlled turbo diesel that has no trouble hitting mid 50s to mid 60s mpgUS tank after tank in city & highway loops .

If we so chose we could have fleets of 40-50 mpgUS clean powerful turbo diesel in all sizes of on our roads tomorrow . And if we did so we wouldn't need a drop of imported oil as we could export it we so chose .

So raise the limit don't lower it and raise the price at the pump to the point that the thought of waiting oil in a fleet of low mpg SUVs & Pickups is never allowed again .
European Fuel Economy
written by Dan, May 29, 2008
Living in Europe (Luxembourg), the gas here at 7.56 US per gallon is the cheapest around. People drive here from surrounding countries for the "cheap" gas. In Germany, gas is around 9.30 US per gallon.

To be kind to the environment I switched from an older station wagon recently which was 25 mpg overall to a 7 seat car/van and now I get 39 mpg overall. That means 379 gallons less fuel per year and lower car maintenance costs. It also means less oil demand and cialis sale online if more people changed to more efficient cars, then the lower demand could result in a plunge in oil and gas prices worldwide.

Those people hanging on to 15 and 20 year old cars are not saving money. A new fuel efficient car uses less gas and needs less maintenance and repair. Increasing the minimum fuel economy is the way to go and savings on gas used should factor in the likely resulting drop in the price of gas if enough people changed.

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