Making sure that every journey is necessary is one way most of us can start to reduce our emissions from travel. Earlier generations could happily talk of joy-riding, travelling for the sheer pleasure of it. The trend today is to power your joy-rides with your own energy: bicycles, roller skates, kick boards – a wide variety of vehicles are available for a nice ride in the country-side; and if you use a car, apply the principles of eco-driving. How many of
One of the fi ndings of the IPCC how to tackle transport related GHG emissions was to promote improved driving practices. Results from studies conducted in Europe and the USA suggested possible improvement of 5–20% in fuel economy from eco-driving training. The mitigation costs of CO2 by eco-driving training were mostly estimated to be negative. Changing the way they treat their car is a step that every driver can take to improve their climate footprint. Here are some tips from the UK Government (www.
-driving smoothly can reduce fuel consumption – check the road ahead, anticipate traffi c and avoid harsh acceleration and braking;
-shift to a higher gear at the right time – shift up at 2 500 rpm for petrol cars and 2 000 rpm for diesel cars. A vehicle travelling at 37 mph in third gear uses 25 percent more fuel than it would at the same speed in fi fth gear;
-get in and go – modern engines are designed to be most effi cient when you do so. Keeping the engine running or pumping the accelerator wastes fuel, increases engine wear and increases emissions;
-switch your engine off if you know you will not be moving for a while; check your tyre pressures regularly – under-infl ated tyres can increase your fuel consumption by up to 3 per cent;
-stick to the speed limits – at 110 km/h you could be using up to 30 per cent more fuel than at 80 km/h;
-remove unnecessary weight and roof racks – they increase the weight and air resistance so they increase the amount of fuel you use;
-air conditioning and other on-board electrical devices (like mobile phone chargers) increase fuel consumption, so only use them when necessary.
A lot more advice is available on the internet on how to reduce fuel consumption while driving. Other sources include:
www.greener-driving.net (developed by UNEP);
www.eco-drive.ch (in German);
http://raga.ouvaton.org (in French);
www.bedoce.com (in Spanish).
128 KICK THE HABIT THE CYCLE – REDUCE