Driving

I am in Nashville. My mom lives here and I used to and basically it’s my city. And as I sit here writing this, the view of the city is making me so excited to explore… and eat delicious food at amazing restaurants… and to spend time with my mom. ANYWAYS…

Let me preface this by saying that I am SUPER stoked because I learned how to drive a manual transmission today. And that I know that I’m not really writing about anything food related at this very second, but I’m going to argue that by saying that you have to drive to the grocery store to get food to cook and you have to drive to restaurants so basically this post can be somewhat useful in that regards.

One thing I know you all know about “greener” driving is to carpool. Carpool to work, carpool to the store, carpool to the gym (or walk there–>you’re obviously looking to get exercise anyways). So I don’t feel the need to reiterate that point anymore.

Aside from that, there are certain tips that can definitely help you save money at the pump (while saving the environment!)

  1. Keep your tires properly inflated (you can raise fuel consumption by 25%–>and not having properly inflated tires is unsafe).
  2. Keep your vehicle maintained (apparently things such as a dirty air filter can reduce your mileage by up to 20%).
  3. Consolidate trips (if you’re going to the grocery store and know you need to get your nails done later… why not do them at the same time?).
  4. Lighten your load (in college terms this means clean the s*** out of your car–>it’s not useful and it’s weighing your car down wasting more gas).
  5. Don’t go out of your way to get cheaper gas (you’re just wasting gas while doing this! Just fill up a little from a more expensive station to tide you over until you do happen to be driving by the cheap spot).
  6. Accelerate slowly and brake over a longer distance.
  7. Turn off your engine if you’re going to be idling for more than 30 seconds. Yes. Your father (or at least mine) was correct in saying it takes more gas to start the car than to leave it idling. But only for 30 seconds! After that point you are wasting extra gas.
  8. If your car needs Regular Gas, GET REGULAR GAS! The ‘higher quality’ stuff actually pollutes more!
  9. And of course drive less! But I feel like that’s a point everyone has already beat into the ground.
  10. And check out this site. I feel like they’re probably a little more knowledgeable and creditable than a college Environmental Science major (namely me).

Further, I’m gonna talk to you folks that own manual transmission cars or cars with tiptronic transmission (a.k.a. manumatic).

  • Although shifting to a higher gear allows you to reach a higher speed, you don’t HAVE to speed up when you shift up. If you remain at a constant speed, but shift up a gear you will be reducing the amount of gasoline you are using. Less rotations of the engine=less gas.
  • To accelerate in a higher gear, you need more power which means more gasoline. It labors the engine. Whenever you need more than a slight acceleration in a high gear it saves fuel to downshift into a more suitable gear.
  •  At a stop, only give the car a little gas while easing off the clutch. If you hear a revving, you’re probably wasting gas (I’m not gonna lie… learning today I definitely did this way too many times).
  • Shift into neutral if you’re just coasting from one traffic signal to another. No reason to waste gas just to stop again.
  • If you can avoid stopping you reduce gas (that it takes to start the car back up) and the normal wear and tear that comes with starting from a stop to 1st gear (which I also had a LOT of trouble with today :)–>my mom says I’m a good driver though and I had a TON of fun).
  • Don’t necessarily downshift on a downhill. Although it appears that all of the movement is due to gravity, it will overheat the engine and waste gas when you have to shift back up at the bottom of the hill 😦 (so just check your RPMs out to know whether to downshift).

So… like I said I know this isn’t exactly food related but I feel it is really important (and I’m still riding high off of my stick-shift-learning-visiting-mom-in-Nashville-for-two-weeks day). And someone who checked out my poll (down to your right) said they wanted some more “green” tips. So. Here’s another one. Straight from my car to yours.

Get excited for a yummy recipe tomorrow! And when you’re running to the store to get the ingredients use some of these great ideas.

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3 responses to “Driving

  1. Mary Lauwereins

    So, I am Chelsea’s mom and I have to say that I was stunned at how quickly she learned to drive my stick shift Infiniti G37. If you can be a natural at driving a manual transmission, she is it.

  2. Great that you have a ‘feel’ for driving stick. Know it is fun – just not in stop and go traffic or at a stop sign at the top of a hill.

  3. This was so informational! I love your blog! I am adding it to my google reader!
    Yes. I succumbed. I now have a google reader. But it makes reading 20 blogs so much easier!!!

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