Alternatives to Driving:

Walk, bike, or use public transportation whenever possible

Carpool and combine your errands to avoid mutiple short car trips

Walk to a restaurant or pack a lunch to avoid driving during the day

Reduce off-campus travel with conference calls or back-to-back meetings

If You Do Drive:


  • Routine maintenance(plugs, filters, etc.) helps keep your mileage up
  • Proper tire inflation – your mileage drops for every pound your  tires are underinflated
  • “Check Engine” lightusually means your oxygen sensor failed, which results in decreased mileage, increased emissions, and possible engine damage if not replaced


  • Use cruise control on the highway to increase fuel economy by up to 14%
  • Remove excess weight because every 100 pounds decreases mileage by ~ 1 mpg
  • Use air conditioning instead of rolling down windows at highway speeds (>45 mph)
  • Remove roof racks when not in use because they increase drag and reduce mileage


  • Speedingjust a 10 mph reduction can decrease drag and increase fuel economy
  • Jack-rabbiting (fast starting and stopping) – can decrease mileage by up to 37%
  • Short shiftingif you own a manual transmission vehicle, shift at lower RPMs
  • Idling – over 10 seconds uses more fuel than it takes to restart your vehicle


  • Do not buy a Tornado or similar devices that are advertised to conserve gasoline because these products have been tested by the EPA and proven to save no fuel
  • If you own a truck, do not drive with the tailgate down or removed because it can actually decrease mileage (up  to 5% possibly) plus mesh replacements can cause even worse fuel economy; however, tonneau covers can raise mileage 2-5%

Click here for further information from the DOE and click here for more GreenCar.com tips