Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Hypermiling for the environment

Nothing is so urgent or so
important that it cannot be done safely and with care to the environment.
I came across the American concept of Hypermiling the other day. With petrol prices rising again, getting more out of a tankful becomes slightly more than purely an academic exercise.

Hypermiling is the art of driving carefully so as to use the least amount of petrol possible – accelerating slowly and braking less often. It’s quite possible to do; it just requires concentration and not letting other road users’ impatience get to you.

Of course, both are an attitude of mind, but for me, at least, it’s the concentration element that is the hardest to do. Not because I can’t concentrate on driving carefully, because I can. It's more because I drive so often. As soon as my mind is onto “more important” things – like getting to a meeting on time, or getting home after a long day, I revert to my old ways.

I saw the slogan about the environment on someone’s T-Shirt at the supermarket. It applies to many, many things: perhaps most things. Driving, of course, is such a commonplace activity that there are big gains to be made for safety and the environment.

Despite the government putting yet more tax onto petrol, the cost is still not the overriding factor. Yes, savings are nice, but as with energy usage it is still perfectly affordable. So for the time being at least it has to be environmental considerations which change hearts and minds.

Could someone let the 4-wheel drive on my bumper know?

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