Dump The Junk – Clean Up The Dirty Driving

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A while ago ICBC launched their “Dirty Driving” campaign. Not only was it clever, the confessions were quite humorous. They even created a website where you can learn how to be a better green driver. So is any driving really green?

The concept is not only to save money but to reduce the driving emissions carbon footprint. I recently used the Drive Smart Calculator. You put in the data – gas price, kms driven, and type of car. The calculator calculates I can save $385 a year or 710 kgs of CO2 emissions. Tell me more!

Here ‘s the problem. The nifty little calculator makes a few assumptions: I jackrabbit drive; I don’t inflate my tires properly; I don’ t maintain my vehicle and, oh my gosh, I carry 100kg of junk in my trunk.

Well, if I have to confess to anything – I do jackrabbit drive on occasion, okay almost weekly. But that’s because Vancouver traffic is a nightmare – no left-hand turn lanes, no advance green lights for turns, ped lights that go at the same time as traffic. But read more on that in upcoming blogs.

My challenge with ICBC’s good intentions is I can’t do a thing about the price of gas, I keep my tires inflated to the proper psi and I maintain my vehicle on a regular basis. The only 100 kilos of junk in my trunk – okay car seats – are my two lovely daughters whose combined weight is barely100 kg. If I dumped them I wouldn’t have any reason to drive at all!

An informal study by students at Mellon University concluded that 80% of all cars on US roads drive on tires inflated to only 80% of capacity. Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by 3.3%. So if we take the ICBC dirty driving test with a small car, the annual savings per year is $15 and 28kgs less of CO2 emissions. This doesn’t sound like much, but here are a few facts that add up to a lot. AirCare (in BC) inspected 479,604 vehicles in 2007. Of that number, 74,435 vehicles failed inspection. Let’s make an assumption that 80% of the failed vehicles don’t have properly inflated tires. If AirCare implemented a quick tire pressure test, over $890,000 and 1.6 million kgs of emmisions could be eliminated each year!

Little things add up and we all can do our part. However, I am still skeptical. Is any driving really green?

What do you think? Leave a reply.

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