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2011-07-07 digital edition

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2011-07-07 / General Stories

Reduce Air Pollution and Cut Fuel Costs, Too

Every driver can contribute to clean air in Texas. Here are some simple suggestions from the Drive Clean Across Texas campaign:

1 Keep your vehicle in top shape

Proper and timely maintenance of your car or truck will conserve fuel and reduce emissions. · Keep your car or truck engine well-maintained to lower exhaust emissions. · Keep your tires properly inflated. · Regularly change air and fuel filters and service air conditioning. · Seal your gas cap tightly, refuel during late afternoon or evening, and don’t “top off” the tank. · Lighten your load by removing roof racks and emptying your trunk of unnecessary weight.

2 Drive less

Reducing the number of vehicles on the road, especially during peak periods (rush hour), means less traffic and less exhaust.

· Combine your errands into only one trip.

· Carpool, vanpool, or ride public transit.

· Work an alternative/flex-time work schedule so you don’t have to drive in congestion.

· Become a telecommuter or start a telecommuting program.

· Take a bicycle or walk when at all possible; it is good for your health.

3 Buy a “cleaner” vehicle

Help make the air healthier for yourself and others by considering the purchase of a fuel-efficient or lowemission vehicle such as a new, hybrid-electric car. For more information, visit www.fueleconomy.gov. Or, enter for a chance to win a new hybrid vehicle at www.DriveCleanAcrossTexas.org.

4 Drive the speed limit

At high speeds you’ll burn more fuel per mile driven, thus creating more harmful pollutants in the air. It is safer to drive the speed limit, too.

· Accelerate and decelerate slowly and smoothly.

· Anticipate stops and coast to a stop gradually.

5 Reduce idling

Idling wastes gas. In fact, turning off the car and starting it again uses less gas than idling for thirty seconds or more.

· Park and go inside rather than using the drive-thru at the bank or fast food restaurant.

· Anticipate delays and take an alternative route to avoid stop-and-go or stand-still traffic... or travel earlier or later when congestion is less.

· After starting the engine, do not warm it up; modern engines do not need it.

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