Gas prices in Hawai'i, as well as the rest of the nation, are constantly fluctuating, but even when they're "low" it's still a painful experience to fill up. Gas is a major expense negatively impacting all of us and causing us to question our driving habits. Carpooling, riding the bus, walking, biking, and doing without unessential car trips are the new normal considerations for transportation these days. Seems like going for a long Sunday drive just for the pleasure of getting out of the house and seeing our beautiful island is simply not an option in modern times.
In a sense, this is positive for the environment. Obviously a few less cars on the roadways equals a little less air, noise, and water pollution (from roadway run-off). Of course, most of us do drive everyday and probably spend more time behind the wheel than we'd like. I know I definitely spend more time and much more money filling my tank than I'm comfortable with, even after utilizing some of the alternative transportation options.
There are a few ways to improve our cars' efficiency, gas mileage, and overall performance. These easy steps lessen the pain at the pump and the detrimental impact on our 'aina caused by a car-centric society.
- Avoid the single person commute; carpool, join Vanpool, or use another form of transportation--even one day a week makes an impact.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated, change your oil often, and lighten your load; clean out unnecessary items from your backseat and trunk.
- Stick to the speed limit; according to Planet Green staying at or below 55 miles per hour greatly improves your fuel efficiency, and for every 5 miles per hour above 55 that you drive, you reduce your fuel efficiency by 10%.
- Don't idle; it's not fuel efficient or environmentally friendly to idle your car for more than 30 seconds.
The imported oil crisis--and the inflated gas prices that have resulted--are a major contributor to the household budget crisis. The overuse of cars in our society has a direct correlation to the degradation of our environment and personal health. Drive less and drive better and we can all have a little less pain in our lives.