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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Top 10 Fuel Saving Tips

Whether you drive a two-seat hybrid or a three-ton SUV, chances are you can squeeze a bit more distance out of each liter of fuel -- and at today's fuel prices, an improvement of just one or two kilometers  per liter can really add up. These ten fuel saving tips can help you improve your car's fuel economy and take some of the sting out of high fuel prices. Most of these tips will give you a very slight increase in your mileage -- but use several together and the fuel mileage improvements will really add up.

1. Slow down

One of the best ways to save gas is to simply reduce your speed. As speed increases, fuel economy decreases exponentially. If you one of the "ten-over on the highway " set, try driving the speed limit for a few days. You'll save a lot of fuel and your journey won't take much longer. (Just be sure you keep to the left, so you won't impede the less-enlightened.)

2. Check your tire pressure

Under-inflated tires are one of the most commonly ignored causes of crummy mileage. Tires lose air due to time and temperature; under-inflated tires have more rolling resistance, which means you need to burn more gas to keep your car moving. Buy a reliable tire gauge and check your tires at least once a month. Be sure to check them when they are cold, since driving the car warms up the tires along with the air inside them, which increases pressure and gives a falsely high reading. Use the inflation pressures shown in the owner's manual or on the data plate in the driver's door jamb.

3. Check your air filter

A dirty air filter restricts the flow of air into the engine, which harms performance and economy. Air filters are easy to check and change; remove the filter and hold it up to the sun. If you can't see light coming through it, you need a new one. Consider a "permanent" filter which is cleaned rather than changed; they are much less restrictive than throw-away paper filters, plus they're better for the environment.

4. Accelerate with care

Jack-rabbit starts are an obvious fuel-waster -- but that doesn't mean you should crawl away from every light. If you drive an automatic, accelerate moderately so the transmission can shift up into the higher gears. Stick-shifters should shift early to keep the revs down, but don't lug the engine -- downshift if you need to accelerate. Keep an eye well down the road for potential slowdowns. If you accelerate to speed then have to brake right away, that's wasted fuel.

5. Hang with the trucks

Ever notice how, in bad traffic jams, cars seem to constantly speed up and slow down, while trucks tend to roll along at the same leisurely pace? A constant speed keeps shifting to a minimum -- important to those who have to wrangle with those ten-speed truck transmissions -- but it also aids economy, as it takes much more fuel to get a vehicle moving than it does to keep it moving. Rolling with the big rigs saves fuel (and aggravation).

6. Get back to nature

Consider shutting off the air conditioner, opening the windows and enjoying the breeze. It may be a tad warmer, but at lower speeds you'll save fuel. That said, at higher speeds the A/C may be more efficient than the wind resistance from open windows and sunroof. If I'm going someplace where arriving sweaty and smelly could be a problem, I bring an extra shirt and leave early so I'll have time for a quick change.

7. Back off the bling

New wheels and tires may look cool, and they can certainly improve handling. But if they are wider than the stock tires, chances are they'll create more rolling resistance and decrease fuel economy. If you upgrade your wheels and tires, keep the old ones. I have fancy sport rims and aggressive tires on my own car, but I keep the stock wheels with a good narrower-tread performance tire in the garage. For long road trips, the stock wheels give a smoother ride and better economy.

8. Clean out your car

If you're the type who takes a leisurely attitude towards car cleanliness -- and I definitely fall into that category -- periodically go through your car and see what can be tossed out or brought into the house. It doesn't take much to acquire an extra 10 or 20 kg. of stuff, and the more weight your car has to lug around, the more fuel it burns.
(Source: About)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Tips on how to save water around your home and garden

With smaller households and more water-using appliances, we use more water than ever before. It's important that we do not take it for granted and that we all learn to use water wisely to ensure there is enough for everyone in years to come.
Water-saving habits started now will become a way of life for the future.

Fix leaking taps

A dripping tap can waste more than 60 litres of water per week.

Don't leave the tap running to clean dishes or vegetables

Use a bowl of water instead.

Keep a jug of water in the fridge

Planning ahead means there is no need to run the water until it gets cold.

Fully load your washing machine

A full load uses less water than two half-loads.

Water your garden early in the morning or during the evening

Scorching summers mean that much of the water you put on your garden will evaporate straight away. Help your flowers get more of the water by watering early in the morning or during the evening.

Have a refreshing shower instead of a bath

This can save over 150 litres of water per week. But be careful - a power shower can use more water than a bath!

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth

A running tap can use six litres of water per minute.

Fill the kettle with only as much water as you need

This will save water and energy.

Use a bucket when you wash your car

This uses up to 125 litres less water than a hosepipe does.

Order a water butt

Collect rainwater to use on your plants and lawn, or to wash your car, so you don't have to use treated tap water.

(Source: Thameswater)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Six Habits For A Green Day

In the Morning
  • Brew "certified" coffee. A USDA Certified Organic label means it was grown using sustainable standards.
  • Green "to go." Not brewing at home? Take a travel cup to your favorite java joint; they may fill it at a discount.
At Work
  • Double up. Configure your office printer or copy machine so it prints on both sides of the page.
  • Put it to sleep. If you'll be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes, change it to "sleep" mode.
Running Errands
  • BYOB. Bags, that is. It's good for your wallet, too: Some retailers, such as CVS, now pay you for every disposable bag you don't take ($1 on a special CVS card for every four trips on which you BYO).
Before Bed
  • Truly turn off electronics. Plug your devices — the TV and DVD player, or the computer and printer — into a UL-certified power strip; switch the whole group off for the evening to prevent phantom electrical draw.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Drive In An Eoc-Friendly way

Avoid unnecessary idling

- Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 compared to restarting your engine.

. Service your vehicle regularly

- Change the air filter, spark plugs, engine oil and other fluids, as outlined in the owners manual, to ensure you get optimum performance and fuel efficiency;

. Measure your tire pressure at least once a month

- For every 28 kilopascals (4 psi) of under-inflation, fuel use increases by about two per cent;

. Lighten Your Load

- Roof and ski racks, and heavy items in your trunk, decrease your vehicle's aerodynamics and add weight causing your vehicle to burn more fuel;

. Track your fuel consumption

- Driving with fuel economy in mind, or eco-driving, can increase the distance you travel with every tank;

. Give yourself extra time

- This will help you to cut down on fuel consumption due to overspeeding

. Use public transit or active transportation

- Use public transit or active transportation wherever possible -Activities like taking the bus, walking, or biking will have an immediate impact on your fuel consumption. Source: Natural Resources Canada, vehicles.gc.ca.