Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Dumb questions about being Eco-friendly & Green (3)

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Q5: What is the most fuel-efficient way to drive?
A: Smoothly, of course. You should avoid dramatic braking & acceleration and should use cruise control if you've got it. Move through the gears as softly & quickly as possible. When possible, drive at a steady speed of 55 miles per hour (~ 90 kmph) on highways. It is proven to be upto 20% more fuel efficient than driving at 75 mph (~ 120 kmph). Check your tyre pressure frequently in order to ensure that tyres are not underinflated or overinflated - it may increase fuel consumption by as much as 6%. As far as possible, don't carry excess baggage. Studies have shown that each extra 25 kg of weight decreases fuel efficiency by 1%. And avoid short trips - a cold engine consumes twice as much fuel as a warm engine.

Q6: How environmentally damaging is barbecuing?

A: On July 4, when over half of all America fire up their barbies, the grills release 225,000 tonnes of CO2. The emissions from these estimated 60 million barbecues would still be less than 1.5% of the nation's daily output. You may be tempted to think that this is not too high a price to pay for a whole lot of fun. Remember that this is equivalent to burning almost 2300 acres of forest! If you do choose to barbecue, the most eco-friendly method is to use charcoal as against the propane burners (currently favored by most Americans). Food grilled over charcoal made from locally grown coppiced wood may actually leave a smaller carbon footprint than if it were cooked on propane.

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