Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Since today is Earth Day I have decided to post about a way we can all help out the environment. To give you a little background about some of past environmentally conscious writing, read my article that appeared in the Fresno State Collegian titled "Look Both Ways At Preventing Pollution." It is one of my writings of which I am most proud, and I'm gonna be honest when I say it is genius.

A slightly more practical idea is using our vehicles more like gliders than planes. The plane mentality is to keep the engines running and keep the speed of the vehicle constant until you need to stop, here the brakes are used to bring the car down to a complete stop. The glider mentality is to get up to speed using an engine but then let physics take over for the rest of the journey.

I have not done any of the calculations to find out if it is more efficient to get up to say 40mph, coast until you reach an unsafely slow speed, say 25mph, and then accelerate back up to the speed limit and repeat the process. I do know, however, that if we used the gas pedal less and coasted to a stop we would definitely be saving gas.

For example, both on my way to work and on my way home from work, there are a few intersections at which I will surely or at least likely stop. If I take my foot off the gas pedal well in advance of where I normally might and just let my vehicle coast to a stop (or a near stop, as not using your brake pedal at all will likely prove dangerous and deadly) I will reduce gasoline consumption in my car.

This, of course, really only applies if you use a common vehicle and not a hybrid. Hybrid's take it a step further and use braking to recharge the batteries.

Just a simple idea to help reduce your gas bill and save the environment.

1 comment:

Alex said...

About your idea of getting up to the speed limit, coasting, accelerating to the speed limit, and so on: I don't think that saves gas. In various tips I've heard about saving gas, they say keeping a constant speed helps. I think they even suggested using cruise control. But coasting when you have to stop anyway definitely saves gas.

And those are interesting thoughts on taking away the pedestrian right-of-way. That would probably help a bit.