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If you can't afford a new car or don't want to buy one, there are ways to make your current car more ecologically friendly. Follow these simple tips to “green up your car.”
• Use your air conditioning sparingly – to reduce your use, use a sunshade, or park in a shady spot on hot days. Or, try rolling down your windows rather than cranking up the A/C.
• Be smart when gassing up: only fill your car when it's cool, as hot gas fumes are worse for the environment. Use only regular unleaded gas unless your car requires a higher grade, and avoid topping off your tank.
• Drive sensibly. Try combining trips, since a cold engine will use more fuel than an already-warm one. Also, avoid traveling when roads are most crowded, and listen to the radio to avoid traffic jams.
• When accelerating, don't floor your gas pedal. Also, brake gradually rather than slamming on the brakes.
• When driving on the highway or on long trips, use your cruise control and stay within the speed limit to use less gas.
• Turn off your car if you are going to idle more than 30 seconds (if possible).
Just because you can't have a new-fangled hybrid car or buy a new vehicle with more eco-sense doesn't mean you can't be ecologically conscious. Be a smart driver!