Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gas Mileage as Simplicity

I've been posting quite self-centered things of late. But since that was the original intent of having a blog (just writing a little note to myself, about myself, and for myself (sort of the way Bush thinks of the US government and economy)), what the hell.

Today's thoughts are on saving gas by driving more carefully.

I was reading some of my favorite blogs on green living, simplicity and frugality and several had postings on getting better gas mileage. This made me think two things:
1) I bet these people all read each others' blogs and then post on similar issues
2) I bet I can get better mileage

I can get better mileage and the blogs mention each other now and then so I am totally right on both counts, as usual.

Here are some of the things I've been trying and that I think have helped me get better mileage (I'm at almost 30mpg mixed highway and town miles):
-use the cruise control.
-I take my foot of the gas and coast for a while before I need to stop. I don't coast to a stop, just more than I did before.
-start out gently after a stop. No sudden moves.
-stay at 60miles or fewer per hour on the highway. This is a bit tough when the speed limit is 75 on the interstate in Idaho, but that IS a maximum, not a minimum as I used to treat it.
-shut the car off at the coffee drive-through (which I'm only going to once a week) and when stopped for construction and it looks like it will be a few minutes.
-never idle the car. Every car on the planet is getting ZEROmph when idling.

I've gone from about 26mpg to almost 30mpg (29.687 to be exact) on my first try. Not bad. that's just over a 10% savings which is about 39cents a gallon savings right now.

One thing I've noticed is that by being more aware of my miles per gallon, I'm more aware of my driving which has got to be safer. I'm watching further ahead for signs and for people who are slowing down or stopping.

By setting the cruise, I've also freed up some of my attention to look about. I've seen some wildlife, some lovely scenery, a lightening strike, and of course, other drivers being stupid and dangerous. I wonder how much of this I missed before. How much did I miss at 75mph that I will see at 60 or 55mph? Slowing down is simplifying my life a bit.

Back in the day, President Carter (still one of my favorite presidents) lowered the speed limit to 55mph to SAVE FUEL. It was a good idea and a far sighted one. If we had kept it that way throughout the country and kept some of his other energy policies going, we wouldn't be in the shape we are now. I should post some day about how much I admire Pres. Carter. He's a pretty interesting dude.

But for now, I bid you fair readers (all 4 of you) a good night.

1 comment:

Fly Right said...

Our van has a readout of what your mileage is at any given time. On that drive back from Iowa in the storm, I noticed that going 50 seemed to be the highest mileage. And then I nearly rear-ended a semi that was obscured by the rain. . .