GREEN DRIVING

It is frequently mentioned that driving green is good for the environment. Well, it is also good for your wallet and car! There are several ways to improve your car's fuel efficiency. One is to rid your car of unnecessary items that weigh it down in traffic. You know that heap of clothes in your backseat and those broken tennis rackets in the trunk? Yeah. That stuff is robbing your gas tank.

Also, make sure your tires have the recommended amount of air in them. Underinflated tires act much like an anchor; they do not allow your car to travel as quickly as it could. You burn the same amount of gas whether or not your tires are adequately or inadequately inflated, but you travel a longer distance with adequately inflated tires. So, keep in mind that your car gets better gas mileage with adequately inflated tires. Another measure you can take to limit your visits to the gas station is refraining from accelerating and braking quickly. Instead, accelerate gradually and brake gradually.

Accelerating proportionally burns more gas than steadily driving 65 mph on the highway. Hence, it is more fuel efficient to not accelerate as if you were participating in a drag race. Another fuel-efficient mode of transportation is carpooling. See if you can arrange with your peers a carpooling schedule; four people riding in one car is more fuel-efficient than four people driving their own individual cars. Another way to cut down on your fuel consumption is opting to take the bus, train or subway.

Or, you might utilize "shared transportation," such as Car2Go, or a bike sharing program. Car2Go (www.car2go.com/?) is a company offering compact, fuel-efficient cars that you can drive for 38 cents a minute. And, you do not have to return it after you've reached your destination. Bike sharing is a similar system, in which you obtain an access card to unlock a key box. Once you have the key, you unlock the bike, and off you go. How's that for convenience and greenness?