Eco-Rep Green Corner: Keep an eye on your fuel economy

With the rising temperatures, we can expect another thing to start to increase: gas prices. People always expect prices to go up with the warmer weather because the blends of gasoline change, and gas becomes more expensive to produce for the summer time. Now with the increasing political instability in the Middle East investors are getting nervous, causing them to trade oil at higher prices. Neither Libya nor Egypt export more oil than the US but political strategists and economists fear that the unrest in this region could affect higher exporting countries such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. The full list of oil exporters can be seen on the CIA’s website.

            Now that you’re armed with the facts, here are some tips on how you can avoid paying $4.00 plus per gallon at the pump. The first tip would always be to drive less. There are multiple ways to accomplish this. Instead of making several trips to the store throughout the week try making a list for one week then completing everything in one trip. Combine efforts with friends and carpool. Rider provides a shuttle service between the Lawrenceville and Westminster campuses Monday through Saturday with additional service to the Princeton DINKY Train Station and to local malls and shopping areas on the weekends. The full schedule can be viewed at Rider’s website. Sometimes you just have to drive; there are still steps you can take to lessen your emissions and how much gas you are using.

            Avoid aggressive driving and “jackrabbit” starts and stops, or slamming on the gas or brake pedal while driving to adjust your speed. One second of high-powered driving can produce nearly the same carbon monoxide emissions as thirty minutes of normal driving. Anticipate stops and coast whenever possible.

            Follow the speed limit: reducing your speed from 75 mph to 65 mph can lower your fuel economy by 10 percent. Maintaining your vehicle will not only keep it in top running condition longer but will also further help fuel economy. Keep your tires properly inflated, get a tune-up and change the oil. Read about these tips and more at www.greenercars.org.

            Finally, when getting to and from home, traveling for the upcoming spring break or going out on weekends, consider taking the train or bus. Amtrak offers discounts for students and if you buy tickets early, you can get $1 one-way fares with Megabus or Bolt.

– Lauren Clabaugh

Lawrenceville Eco-Rep

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