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Simple Steps To Conserve Gas, Save Money and Reduce Auto Emissions

Release Date: 07/02/2004
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Contact: John Millett, 202-564-7842 / millett.john@epa.gov

(07/02/04) Independence Day 2004 will be the busiest travel weekend of the summer. As drivers prepare to hit the road this weekend, EPA recommends several simple steps to reduce their impact on the environment and their wallets.

To get the most out of each gallon of gas and reduce tailpipe emissions, EPA encourages the following steps:
      • Driving Wisely – Sudden starts and stops, excessive speeds, extra weight in the trunk, unnecessary idling, long drive-through lines, and revving or warming up the engine waste fuel. Using cruise control on the highway helps maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas. Using overdrive gears slows engine speed, saves gas and reduces engine wear. Observe speed limits.
      • Regular Maintenance – Routine car maintenance extends a car’s life, increases its resale value, and improves gas mileage. Properly inflated and aligned tires, a tuned engine and regularly changed oil and air filters are a few simple steps that help ensure fuel efficiency.
      • Advanced Trip-Planning – Planning routes, avoiding peak traffic periods, combining errands, and eliminating backtracking will save gas, prevent wear and tear, and save time.
      • Smart Refueling – Topping off the tank creates harmful emissions and wastes money. Gasoline vapors are harmful to breathe, contribute to ground-level ozone formation and are a source of toxic air pollutants such as benzene. Evaporation from the spillage of gas from overfilling can occur, contributing to the air pollution problem. For more information on the environmental benefits of proper refueling, visit: http://www.epa.gov/donttopoff/index.htm .
For more gas mileage tips, visit: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/drive.shtml .

After the long weekend, there are more substantial steps consumers can take to protect the air we breathe and minimize trips to the fuel pump.

Consumers have more choice than ever when it comes to fuel economy and protecting the environment. EPA encourages consumers to consider fuel economy when purchasing a new vehicle. For help in selecting the cleanest, most fuel-efficient vehicle to match individual needs, visit EPA's Green Vehicle Guide at: http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicle .

EPA also works with business to help consumers find more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to commute to the office. EPA's Best Workplaces for Commuters program encourages companies to provide incentives to employees to choose cleaner modes of transportation, including ride-sharing – and whenever possible – walking, biking, public transportation, or tele-commuting. For more information, visit: http://www.bestworkplacesforcommuters.gov .




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