Sunday, May 15, 2011

Living On Less: HYPERMILING Our Driving

We've all heard the saying Less is More, it means you can have less quantitybut more quality to life. In these hard times rather than pushing against the energy of a collapsing lifestyle and planet it's time to consider going with the flow to heal by recreating ourselves, our lives, our beliefs and attitudes which consider not just a means to our own selfish end but serve the greater good of all. By All that means considering the planet is also a living being and we are an intricate part of her as an entire Unite of Consciousness.

Thought we might start with something many of us here in the U.S.A are up
in arms about in the moment "Gas Prices Driving Us To The Poor House". The prices have been high in other countries for a long time. While we can fight our governments regarding taxing and where it comes from the path of least resistance is to consciously control our own consumption. Gas of course is way more than filling the tank of our cars, it can be filling the tank for home heating fuel and all the many thing which use petroleum in production and to get products to us. We can start this very minute to save on our own consumption every time we get in our car making fewer trips to refuel by changing mind set and a few simple driving habits.

#1 Compile errands plane to do everything in one trip in the same direction. You still may be doing several trips a week but it will be more organized and save on fuel.

#2 Have all family members write their needs on a black-board so trips can be compiled and there are no last minute runs. A few forgets, being forced to do without, is the best way there is to teach us new habits.

#3 Car pool with kids family friends and neighbors for work, meetings, social events and shopping (especially shopping). It helps strengthen family ties beyond social evens into real life issues, and builds more secure bond between those who live around us, that we may otherwise never get to know unless there is a real disaster for need. It a productive way to build community and the village it takes to raise a family.

#4 HYPERMILING = yup new driving techniques to save fuel.
***Avoid excess idling. New fuel injected engines only consume about five
seconds of fuel during restart. So turn your engine off if your sitting more than 30 seconds.
***Turn off air conditioner, save the fuel consumption for bumper to bumper tie ups or slow driving and save up to 25% more fuel. When driving faster with few stops create a natural breeze by opening the front drivers window and opposite back window. Driving faster highway speeds close windows and use the ventilation fan to reduce aerodynamic drag.
***Keep up on maintenance as dirty air filters decrease fuel economy in older combustion engines.
***Lower speed is less gas consumption. Drive the speed limit to save.
***Lighten the load and remove all unnecessary weight. Like Rack Storage boxes on roof or the weekend beach chairs in the trunk, the sand bags or weights for winter traction. Keep them stored in the garage not in the car and you'll increase millage.
***Choose alternate routes. They may take longer with slower speeds, but they may not have as many starts and stops. In end even if more miles the gas savings comes from the non waste. Leave earlier and don't rush allows more opportunity to think about your Hypermiling techniques till the become habit and saves on stress not just gas.
Learn these new habits on little traveled back roads before trying in traffic.
***Smart Breaking=Break early to avoid restarting from a dead stop in stop and go bumper traffic. Take corners and curves slow to avoid breaking. Excessive speed remember means more fuel consumption.
***On a little traffic road try driving with no breaks. Play a game with yourself as if there were no breaks. It's a different style of driving but one that in the end will save big and since your breaks really do work it's quite safe. The idea is to teach yourself to anticipate the conditions around you, which makes you a safer driver all around while slowing before you come to a situation to avoid complete stops. At lights and stops signs complete stops can't be avoided, but every time you brake you waste fuel burned during acceleration. Breaking can increase consumption 33% at highway speeds.
***Driving from light to light allow traffic around you to rabbit forward to trip the traffic light sensor. Then choose your steady slower speed and sail through lights without ever hitting a red light or having to break.

Overall the quest to save fuel will create more observant driving habits and provide many more saving than just fuel down the road, and the good habits depending on auto make and model can save up to a surprising 40%.

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