Posted by: gardner310 | March 30, 2011

Being Green

I haven’t been very good at keeping up this blog since we went to sea on Holland America as cruise consultants. I am posting more on Living In An Inside Cabin, I fear, and also tend to use Facebook for photos. Anyway, I was sent this information by ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) and thought it was good advice for all of us. Hope you can take a point or two and use it.

Road Trip Season Coming – Check Your Tires and Other Ways to Save Gas

As road trips beckon remember to check your tires. When tires are not inflated to the pounds per square inch (PSI) rating recommended by manufacturers, they are less “round” and require more energy to begin moving and to maintain speed. Tires that are underinflated by 10 PSI rob cars of about 1.3 miles per gallon.

Make sure you have a tire gauge and check your car’s tires monthly. The proper PSI should be listed in your car’s manual or the information will come with your new tires. Under-inflated tires contribute to pollution and increased fuel costs, so keep them pumped up.

Also, tests looking at A/C On & Windows Up vs. A/C Off & Windows Down have found that the cost is about the same. Air conditioning does use more fuel but the friction of an open window will also use more fuel. The only time having windows down is more efficient is when you are driving very slowly to minimize friction.

Other ways to save gas include:

– Eliminate drag – Even a ribbon tied to your antenna can cause drag. Consumer Report found you could save 6 MPG an hour by ridding your car of items creating drag.

– Avoid Aggressive Driving – Can cost extra fuel and you will often find at a stoplight that all those you passed catch up very quickly.

– Use Cruise Control – Effective way to save gas for longer trips.

– Avoid Excessive Idling – It is very costly to idle. If you are stopping for more than a minute do not idle just turn the car off.

– Drive Slower – If you’re going over 55 miles per hour, slowing down increases fuel efficiency. Consumer Reports found that slowing down from 75 MPH to 65 MPH resulted in a 5 mile per gallon performance increase. Slowing down from 75 MPH to 55 MPH saved 10 miles per gallon.

Green Your Spring

Spring is coming and it’s a great time to make a few changes and plan a greener lifestyle.

– Use cost-saving non-chemical cleaners for your spring cleaning:
• Glass: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray on glass and wipe clean with old newspaper or a lint-free cloth.
• Countertops and bathroom tile: Mix 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda with 4 parts water. Apply with a sponge, scour, and wipe away.
• Toilet bowl cleaner: Sprinkle a toilet brush with baking soda and scrub away! Occasionally disinfect your toilet by scrubbing with borax instead. Wipe the outside of the toilet clean with straight vinegar.
• Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar, 3 cups hot water, and 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use a spray bottle. Wipe clean.
• Mold and mildew: Wipe with straight vinegar.
• Air freshener: Sprinkle essential oil on a cotton ball, and stash it in a corner of the room.

– Go on a green spring trip:
• Rent a hybrid for a greener road trip and save on gas.
• Buy carbon offsets for your flight.
• Take a biking road trip.
• Spend your spring break on a voluntourism trip.

– De-clutter your home the green way. Find new homes for your unneeded stuff:
• Give to a friend or neighbor.
• Donate to a local thrift store or charitable organization.
• Offer on Freecycle or Craigslist.

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