Skyrocketing gas prices are on everyone’s mind today. The impact on our wallets is just a sign of what’s to come as the finite supply of fossil fuels continues to dwindle and the high demand from our fossil fuel-based economy remains. While geopolitical conflicts impacting gas pricing are out of our control, everyone can adopt habits in their everyday lives that are good for both personal budgets and the planet.
Tip #1: Be a Safe Driver
Take your foot off the accelerator and drive less aggressively. Stop speeding and making hard stops to zip around traffic. This will, while it may seem obvious, help save gas and make roads safer.
Tip #2: Keep Your Current Ride in Top Shape
Regular car maintenance like tire pressure checks, regular oil changes etc. will keep your car operating at peak efficiency –allowing you to get more out of every gallon.
Tip #3: Avoid Idling
While not heading to work, try to avoid peak traffic hours and not waste gas standing idle in traffic. Also, try to park in the shade and turn off the car when waiting somewhere a long time.
Tip #4: Give the AC a Break When Reasonable
Like many things in your car, air conditioner eats up gas. When your car is already cooled inside, consider turning off the air conditioner for those last few miles of your trip. Rolling down the windows is a good option when driving at low speeds but isn’t recommended for high speeds as it causes drag on your vehicle, causing it to work harder.
Tip #5: Ease the Load
Clear out any unnecessary heavy items that have been taking up space in the backseat or the trunk. Consider removing any roof racks or bike racks when not in use as they hinder the car’s efficiency and create extra drag.
Tip #6: Plan Out Trips Efficiently
When running errands think about the most efficient way to hit all your stops without needing to go too much out of your way. For longer rides, technology like Google Maps lets you make greener choices by selecting the most fuel-efficient, eco-friendly routes.
Tip #7: Share Rides
Carpool with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers whenever possible. Not only is it a great way to save on gas but will allow for more quality time with others.
Tip #8: Use Mass Transit If Available
If available to you, save money and skip out on the stress that comes with a car commute by using public transport like a bus or a train. While it may take longer to get to your destination, you’ll also be able to use your time more efficiently and caught up on work or read a book during your trips.
Tip #9: Bicycle! Bicycle!
For shorter trips, get some fresh air and keep your body active with a bike ride. If you aren’t interested in breaking a sweat, electric bikes and scooters can get you to your destination without too much effort on your part.
Tip #10: Go Electric
For those who can afford it, investing in an electric vehicle is not only a great option in the long run economically, but it will also have a tremendous positive impact on the environment. A hybrid car option works as well. What’s more, Climate First Bank offers options to finance your EV or hybrid at an attractive rate.
Lauren Dubé is the director of client and mission partnerships at Climate First Bank, a Florida-based FDIC-insured community bank with a mission to combat the climate crisis by making sustainable alternatives accessible to everyone. A University of Central Florida alumna, Dubé is a founding member of the bank’s ESG team. Utilizingvalues-aligned banking experience, Dubé is responsible for managing client and community relationships, seeking out beneficial partnerships, and onboarding new depositors, with a special focus on mission-aligned businesses and nonprofit organizations.
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