December 27, 2016 Jameela 0Comment

Yeah, yeah. I hear that the government is calling it “pricing carbon” or a “carbon levy“, but you and I both know it is a tax. I am all for sustainability and environmentally friendly practices, but I don’t like having things cost me more. I also don’t like having the basic cost of living (re: transportation and heating, etc) increased to reduce emissions by 6-16% (depending on who you get your news from). I use this number based on our closest neighbor’s, British Columbia, emission reduction numbers. You can read the official “report card” here.

Not to sound like a Negative Nancy, but I am not interested “taking a bus, walking, you know, those kinds of things” – Rachel Notley…

Soooo here is how to

Reduce Your Gas Consumption Without Driving Less

Before I give you these tips, calculate your gas mileage first. This is important so you can measure your progress or regression :p Also, enjoy the fun Cuban car photos. I didn’t take any of my car because it is super dirty!


1. Plan Your Route

I think this is pretty self-explanatory: combine all your errands in one trip, or one day. When your engine is warm, it is much more efficient. Plan all your quick stops first and then you can do your long, two-hour meeting at 3 pm, right before you pick up the kids. If you do little, errands sporadically, you can spend twice as much gas than if you did it all at once.

You can also plan an efficient route around the city. Use Google Maps and see what the shortest route is with the least amount of traffic. With just a little planning you can save time and money!

Verdict: Up to 50% savings (based on per trip)


2. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

a) Steady

Chill with the quick breaking and the rapid acceleration. All you have to do is drive smoothly and you can save anywhere between $0.08 and $0.30 cents per liter.  It isn’t that important to the next red light faster than the other guy.

b) Slow

Alright, I hate slow pokes, but as you start going over 100km/h you start to lose fuel efficiency. Once you start getting over 110km/hour you start to make your engine work harder to compensate for the drag. If you are driving within the city, you won’t get to your destination much faster.

Verdict: 8%-30% savings


3. Ditch the Excess

a) Weight

I think we all know that driving with excess cargo is a drag on gas mileage. If you are rolling around with an extra 100 pounds that can cost you $0.01/L. Not a big deal, but I have seen people go to a gas station two neighbourhoods over to save 1 cent.

b) Cargo Rack

Other than looking super lame, your roof rack is hurting your gas mileage. You can save 2% – 25% (minimum 5 cents/L) on your gas mileage depending on if you are driving in the city or on the highway. Aerodynamics man!

Verdict: 2% – 25% savings

4. Stop Idling

Alright, I am the worst for this. Mostly because it dips below -15 degrees in my part of the world. When it is -25 I don’t care, I am willing to spend 1/4 of gas to stay warm. However, when it is summer, don’t idle. You can spend $0.02 to $0.05 per MINUTE!

Verdict: Massive Savings!


5. Maintenance

You can do simple things like

  • Checking your tire pressure
  • Changing your air filter
  • Change your oil and oil filter

If you know nothing about cars, just do your regular check-ups and ask your mechanic to do these things for you.


Bonus: Drafting

I asked my friend if he had any creative tips for saving gas and he said drafting!

Definition: Drafting (aerodynamics) … A paceline of drafting cyclists. Drafting or slipstreaming is a technique where two vehicles or other moving objects are caused to align in a close group reducing the overall effect of drag due to exploiting the lead object’s slipstream.

Basically, drafting is following closely behind an object, or in the case, a vehicle to take advantage of the reduced air resistance. Drafting can be done on the highway, but only if you are comfortable with it, and are under safe road conditions! It is super dangerous but will save you gas. I wouldn’t do it, I would advise against it, but it is an option. Honestly, it is mostly professionals on closed tracks that can do it safely. I added it because it was the only “creative” option I could find 🙂

How do you save gas?