'Small steps add up to big leaps'

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:45

    I agree with Mr. Whalen’s letter (Warwick Advertiser, May 22) which points out the advantages of President Obama’s push for future high fuel efficiency vehicles. However, it also highlights a common misconception among Americans that all solutions are long term and require big changes in technology to achieve them. Unfortunately, this line of thinking prevents us from seeing obvious more immediate solutions which stare us in the face. If you want fuel prices to go down, then use less gas. It’s all about supply and demand. Relating to the points made in Mr. Whalen’s letter, if New Yorkers saved just one pint of gasoline a day they would see a savings of $182 per year. Here are some immediate fuel efficiency tips to save that pint of gas: • Slow down. Many people drive well over the speed limit. Driving slower improves fuel efficiency. If you drive an average of 60 miles per day and you get just one mile per gallon better fuel efficiency, that adds up to 25.6 ounces of fuel per day. You have exceeded that one pint already and will save $292 per year. • Stop leaving the car running. Every day I see people leaving their cars idling for no reason. Warming it up. Cooling it down. Sitting on the drive-up window line. Even just sitting in the deli parking lot running. Cars use approximately one ounce of fuel per minute when idling. Those minutes add up quick and stopping just five minutes of needless idling per day would save another $57 per year. • Service your vehicle. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your car to get better fuel efficiency. Get regular oil changes, buy top-quality synthetic oil, change your air filter, make sure your tires are filled to the correct pressure. All these things add up to better fuel efficiency. It doesn’t take a whole lot to get an extra mile per gallon and that savings adds up. Having better fuel efficient vehicles is a must for the future but we also have solutions that can be introduced right now by just changing the way we use our resources. If only 10 percent of Americans saved only one ounce of gasoline a day our country would save 85,546,875 gallons of gasoline a year. Small steps add up to big leaps. Bob Linguanti Warwick