Reduce Your Vehicle’s Footprint

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts lately on getting rid of my gas-guzzling SUV and getting a more eco and fuel friendly car. I’ve been filling up way too much lately, and with the rising costs of fuel, it’s putting a huge hole in my pocket. So I was looking at ways that I could not only reduce my car fuel usage, but also use my car less. Seems like a strange article for an automotive site, but I think we all owe it to ourselves to look for other options in vehicle propulsion – even if it means talking about not using a car in the first place.

One of the best options, of course, is to get a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle. Many of these alternative fuels are not so easy to use…they are either expensive or hard to find. I can’t be bothered to go to a restaurant to get their old cooking oil every time I need to fill up. However, the hybrids these days such as the ever popular Prius offer a great alternative and compromise, and the fuel economy can’t be beat. So I’m honestly thinking of trading in my SUV to get one of these, especially because I drive so much.

I was also looking at fuel efficient SUVs. I think there’s a huge market for this – I have my SUV because I like a slightly larger vehicle and I also tend to cart around a lot of stuff – people, surfboards, sports equipment, etc. Luckily it seems that this niche will soon be filled. I may wait until then to get a new car or trade in.

More and more cars are using computer aided electronics in order to preserve fuel economy. The introduction of better integrated phones will enable people to quickly and easily access either their home computer to find directions or just look up a directory for the best local cuisine. This could help save a lot of driving in the long run. It might only save you a couple miles here and there, but add that up for millions of people and it’s a huge reduction in the amount of miles traveled. Computer integration is becoming more and more expansive, and it won’t be long before there are entire cloud based communications between your home computer and your car. It’s very interesting to see how some very advanced systems allow users to completely integrate all of their electronics. However, this could pose security and privacy threats, and so there are some great watchdog websites in place to monitor these technological advances.

Another thing to think about is to just not use my car at all – and that means riding my bike and staying local. There’s been a big push lately to help support local businesses by just sticking closer to home, fostering a sense of community as well as a stronger local economy. Instead of driving to the local Starbucks, I could just ride my bike to the local coffee shops. And I think that’s a huge part of how I will save not only on fuel costs, but also my own eco footprint.