California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has teamed up with Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado to unveil the ecoDriving campaign. [WARNING: When you click on that link, the Governator immediately starts talking to you, with nary a stop or mute button in sight.] Auto manufacturers and dealers, along with industry leaders and politicians, have aimed the campaign at drivers who want to increase the fuel efficiency and reduce the emissions of the car they already drive.
The site offers tips like keeping tires properly inflated and “riding the green wave” — maintaining a steady speed to hit all the green lights on a long street. I have an uncle who is the king of this maneuver; I thought he was anal, but it turns out he’s a natural-born ecoDriver. The site also recommends keeping the gas cap tight to reduce evaporation.
There’s a clever ecoCalculator to tell you, based on your yearly mileage, mpg, and driving habits, how many pounds of CO2 you could be saving by adopting a couple new habits. If I kept the tires on my little red truck inflated, for instance, I’d save $68 a year on gas and keep 76 more pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
The site has games, resources, and will help you send a message to your governor asking him or her to sign on to the ecoDriving campaign. In a related measure, the National Automobile Dealers Association is recommending that its members give free green checkups in the month of September, along with child safety seat inspections.