The United States is a culture built on self reliance and personal responsibility. In terms of transportation, that means you are on your own.
Being on your own, however, can be difficult if you don’t own a car. One of the biggest obstacles many poor Americans face in getting and keeping a job is reliable transportation. It’s time we as a country begin addressing that problem. Elected officials should start by making public transportation options (such as bus service and commuter rail) as much of an infrastructure priority as building new highways.
And even though we are a car culture, that doesn’t mean Americans shouldn’t make their commutes by automobile a little greener. You can begin by using your car only when necessary. That means consolidating several errands into one trip.
When it comes to saving both the environment and money at the gas pumps, just driving the speed limit can help. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says motorists can improve their gas mileage about 15 percent by driving 55 mph rather than 65 mph. Carpooling is another sensible approach to the problem.
Here are some other tips for a greener car:
Don’t carry unneeded items in the trunk. The extra weight decreases gas mileage.
Keep tires properly inflated and aligned, and be sure to get regular engine tune-ups.
For more information about making your vehicle environmentally friendly, visit www.carcare.org and check out the website’s guide for going green.