Driving Greener Every Day

Eco-driving is the new driving—it's all about making small changes to your driving style to save fuel and cut emissions. The Dutch have been doing it for years because of the government's goal of reducing emissions by 2010. They have a national centre where drivers are taught tips which could cut fuel use by almost a third. Britain will be introducing aspects of green driving into the driving test by 2008 in an attempt to cut emissions, save on fuel costs and make driving safer. As discussed in the Observer, here are some ways to get more out of your car: "Drive more smoothly: harsh accelerating and braking use up much more fuel - Avoid excessive speed, especially on motorways • Watch ahead to anticipate when to slow down or stop well in advance. • Change gear as soon as possible, ideally around 1,500-2,500 revs. • Once the engine is warm, turn it off if you are going to stop for longer than a minute. • Keep tire pressure at right level. • Take any excess baggage out of the car, and racks and boxes off the roof. • Switch off or turn down air conditioning and heating. • Avoid unnecessary trips" and of course: buy a more efficient car. The paper has a green driving quiz which is daunting ( how much fuel does an un-used roof rack use?). Critics say that the small average saving will not encourage people to change their ways—only a higher fuel price will do the trick. ::Observer