Saving gas thanks to EcoDriving

8 03 2010

We were excited to take our ecodriving lesson.  We have seen that in our area, and I think in most of the U.S., driving is a necessary part of life.  We have talked in previous posts about how even eco-friendly recreation, like hiking or camping, requires us to drive to other locations.  So we need to make our driving as eco-friendly as possible. 

Mya Isaiah ready for EcoDrivingDuring our lesson we learned several relatively simple tips, and then got a chance to try them out.  For me, it was key to have our instructor in the car with me so I could really get a good understanding.  Also the computer that gave me real-time information on how much gas the car was using allowed me to see the effect of every one of my actions.  I just don’t think we could have learned as much by reading about it.  By the end of our lesson I was getting 20% better gas mileage.

But I knew that the real test would be when we went home a drove our normal route in our car.  I have found that stop-and-go traffic makes it much harder to use come of the ecodriving tips, but we try to be mindful of how we drive.  As a result, I found that on our last tank of gas we got 15% more miles than when I measured before our lesson.  And I think that we can do even better with practice.

Interestingly, I also recently rode in a friend’s car that has a real-time gas usage meter.  He said that he loved it and he and his wife each tried to outdo each other by getting the best gas mileage.   Just another example of how measuring is often the key to using less.  I would love to see every car outfitted with a real-time gas use meter and every driving school offering an ecodriving class.

By Climate Pilot Isaiah Akin


Greetings from the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

5 02 2010

Maud Olofsson, photo: Pawel FlatoDear Climate Pilots,

First of all I would like to thank you for participating in this exciting project. I enjoyed the interesting discussions we had sitting around Stokes’ dining room table in November. I really appreciated our conversation and to hear about your experiences as climate pilots.

As I understand it, you will now take on your fourth challenge; transports. As we talked about in November, there are a number of things one can do that will benefit both the climate and the wallet.

Whether you choose to use public transportation more often, practice the technique of eco-driving or start a car pool, I am sure you will be successful in lowering your impact regarding transportation.

I wish you all the best with your fourth challenge and I hope you will continue to make climate awareness part of you every day life. 

Kind regards,

Maud Olofsson
Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

Good luck with the EcoDriving!

3 02 2010

 I wish you a pleasant eco-driving course. Now you will learn how to really make a difference in a car dependent U.S. Specially the chance to save money and environment at the same time! I know you’ll do really well as with all the other challenges you took.

Good luck and “kör så det (inte) ryker” so to speak.

Climate Coach Tess Silvander

Hard NOT to drive in Northern Virginia

7 01 2010

As for the upcoming Driving Challenge, we learned in Challenge Two that it is really hard NOT to drive in Northern Virginia.  (During a video conference last month with one of our Climate Pilot Coaches she mentioned that she had only driven 3 times that month.)  Therefore, learning to driving more efficiently will be a big help for us.  One of the easiest things I did was to spend a day during the December holiday getting my home office set-up with an identical set of equipment as my “real” office, and now I probably work from my home office two days a week and never drive anywhere.  Now that’s efficient driving.

We are really looking forward to learning more.

By Climate Pilot Nolan Stokes

Challenge 4 on Traveling has now started

9 12 2009

Challenge4In the fourth and last challenge the Climate Pilots will look into how we transport ourselves. Transportation plays a significant role in carbon dioxide emissions.

Planes, trains and automobiles are more than just means of transportation. They are necessities of any advanced economy. Unfortunately, this freedom to go wherever we wish and get things from wherever we want is 95-percent reliant on burning oil.

Fortunately there are many things the Climate Pilots can do to decrease their impact on the environment when it comes to traveling. During the challenge they will keep a transport diary and later on learn EcoDriving.

Read more about the fourth challenge >>