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More Gas Saving Tips PDF Print E-mail

Too Much Luggage

Why it matters: A loaded roof rack can increase wind resistance, diminish the aerodynamics of the car, and decrease fuel economy by 5 percent. Similarly, extra luggage in the trunk weighs down the car and requires more work (and more gas) from the engine—an extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent or about 4¢ to 8¢ a gallon, according to fueleconomy.gov. Remove and store the luggage racks, bike racks, ski racks, and kayak holders until you absolutely need them, or try to put some of those items in the trunk between uses instead.

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Mistakes That Cost You Gas Money PDF Print E-mail

Many of the mistakes we make that cost us gas money are behavioral issues. If you see yourself in this list, you could be saving money soon!

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving wastes gas. Rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% around town.

Driving Too Fast

While each car reaches optimal fuel economy at different speeds, gas mileage typically decreases rapidly above 60 mph. For every 5 mph over 60 mph, you're paying an extra 24¢ per gallon for gas, according to www.fueleconomy.gov, the official U.S. government source on energy efficiency. Cruise control can save gas at highway speeds. Learn to use your overdrive gears; when the car's engine speed goes down, you save gas and reduce engine wear.

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Not So Tasty After All! PDF Print E-mail

Michael Pollan's first food rule is simple: “Eat Food”, which he considers to be a far different thing than what he calls edible food-like substances. Prepared foods contain dizzying lists of Frankenstein products and chemical additives that no one would ever have in their pantry or throw into homemade brownies. Many of these food-like substances are bad for our health, bad for our planet, and they are everywhere. At the top of the list is palm oil, which is present in half of the packaged foods sold in the U.S. from cereals to cookies to granola bars to candy bars to chewing gum. Palm oil zoomed to top ingredient status after consumers shied away from foods containing trans-fats. Substituting for those hated hydrogenated vegetable oils (or trans-fats), palm oil earned manufacturers a coveted “No Trans Fats” announcement on the package front. In fact, palm oil contains highly saturated fats that raise blood cholesterol.

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Made Only in the Shade PDF Print E-mail

Bite by bite and sip by sip, we make food decisions every day that not only affect our bodies, but our local economy, the ecology of the place where the food was grown, and global commerce. One of the worst and most common consumables is conventionally grown coffee. Coffee plants naturally grow in the shade of the rainforest, but as demand for coffee skyrocketed, coffee farmers began to grow coffee in full sunlight. Rainforests were cleared for more coffee fields, wiping out bird species that had once provided insect control and pollination. These fields now favor the seed and grain eating birds that have become crop pests. Coffee requires heavy applications of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers to grow in this unnatural sunny situation. From an environmental standpoint, it is crucial that we buy only shade-grown, organic coffee

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Make Like a Mouse! PDF Print E-mail

Does snuggling save energy? Yes! There are several key factors affecting how quickly animals, including humans, lose energy to the air.  One is the quality of your boundary layer – the thickness and texture of our fur, feathers – or down coat. Another key element is the steepness of the gradient between your internal temperature and the surrounding air temperature. If you are a chickadee, and your internal temperature is 105°F, and the air temperature is -20°F, your energy will exit very quickly.

Kleptothermy is the biological term for thermoregulation by huddling, and it addresses the last key variable – surface area.

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