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Guest Post: Drive Green… Save Money and the Planet

These days, society is plagued by a weak economy and a struggling climate.  These are perhaps two of the greatest challenges that we face today.  Thankfully there are many cases where a solution to one problem is also a solution to the other.  Enter green driving practices; by working to be more environmentally friendly with your vehicle you can also save money to ease the strain of these financially tough times.

Perhaps the easiest first step is to own an efficient vehicle.  This could be a hybrid, electric, or (if your really into it) a solar powered car.  Owning one of these vehicles could save you thousands of dollars a year.  But even if you don’t have any of these models, and can’t afford to buy one, there are plenty of other ways to be green on the road that wills save you money at the same time.

Here are some great ways to go green on the road:

  • Participate in carpooling even just twice a week and you will help to get cars off the road, reduce traffic congestion, CO2 emissions, and save money on gas.
  • Ride share.  This is another great option. Instead of making the short road trip to the neighboring town in your own car, check out Craigslist or other similar sites to see if you can catch a ride with someone going the same direction.  This way you can split gas costs and only put one car on the road instead of two.
  • Driving smooth is not just good for comfort on the road, but it is better for the environment.  Smoother transitions from braking to accelerating actually require less fuel, thus emitting fewer carbons and keeping the tank fuller, longer.  Practice smooth transitions to look good, save money, and help the planet.
  • Regular vehicle maintenance is essential.  When your car isn’t functioning properly the fuel economy decreases and you wind up emitting more CO2 and burning up more gas.  It’s bad for the planet and for your pockets. Wheel alignment, tire inflation, and healthy fluid levels could wind up saving you as much as $500 a year in fuel costs, not to mention the substantial reduction of CO2 emissions as well.
  • Use alternate forms of commuting like biking, walking or busing.  This will reduce fuel costs, CO2 emissions, and trim that waistline.
  • Some car insurance companies are now offering discounts for drivers that own hybrid or other forms of efficient vehicles- even more incentive to go green and save money.  If you can’t afford to buy a new car, consider purchasing a used one.  If that is still out of the question, start saving so that when your current car dies you can upgrade to an eco-friendly vehicle.

If every person were to switch to alternate forms of transportation just one day a week, carpool one day a week, and perform regular vehicle maintenance, it would be like taking millions of cars off the road each year.  Not only that, but the individuals that made these tiny changes would be saving thousands of dollars as well.

About the author: Jenni Sunde is a freelance fashion writer and pop culture junkie. Jenni specializes in all things lifestyle-related. From home and design to health and beauty. With her love of art and all things beautiful, she delights in sharing her sense of style from her life to your computer monitor. Her title pegs her as an editor at a website that specializes in providing people with a quick car insurance quote, but her passion leads her into writing with a little more substance and a lot more heart.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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