Stephanie Miller admitted on Supper Club with Tom Bergeron that though she knows keeping her SUV is putting a strain on the environment and her wallet, she doesn't have a choice because she refuses to part with her beloved oversized pooches. This is not an uncommon story for so many drivers that have children as well. So what do you do if purchasing a Prius just isn't in the stars for you?
- Share one car. If you must drive a large gas guzzler, give the planet a break by sharing one car. If one parent has to drive a long distance, then the other could either car pool or try some alternative source of transportation such as the bus, the subway, or a bike. Amongst two-worker households, a study by the American Public Transportation Association found that using public transportation saved $6,200 on average annually. The gasoline cost savings are noteworthy when compared to other major household expenditures, the most significant being mortgage and food costs. The average American currently spends $6,848 per year on their mortgage and $5,781 per year on the costs of food.
- Don't drive aggressively. If you stay cool and collected behind the wheel, you aren't just doing wonders for your blood pressure, you're saving an astounding average of 31 percent on gas. When you're on the highway, stay in one lane and cruise at a moderate speed and you'll be shocked at the results.
- Use cruise control. Using cruise control on longer trips can save an average of 7 percent on gas. Again, just get in the slow lane and cruise, it's well worth it. Don't submit to peer pressure that says you have to speed up.
- Live close to what you love. As green urban design takes hold of our country, more and more people will be living closer to grocery stores, dry cleaners, work, and schools but in the mean time make a concerted effort to take location into account. If work is a commute, try and park your car on the weekends and walk where you need to go. It's better for the environment and it's better for you.
- Purchase a hybrid SUV. The Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid have the highest rated fuel economy. Both currently cost about $2.60 to drive 25 miles and about $43 to fill up.