Our fuel saving tips can help you be a better, greener, driver.

Green Driving Tips

We've addressed fuel savings in a separate article, but there are other ways to make your driving more earth and wallet friendly.

Take off roof racks and trailers when not in use to reduce wind resistance. Remove any extra cargo- even those lightweight objects you think aren't that important. Extra weight means more fuel consumption.

If your trip is under two miles, walk or bike it instead.

If you can't avoid driving that short trip say you have to haul something that is too heavy to carry or fit on a bike combine shorter trips together so you are making one run instead of five. Three stops on one trip around Philadelphia are better than three separate trips. The engine will be colder on shorter trips, which means more fuel consumption.

Another option is to carpool. Go grocery shopping with a friend or neighbor, and see which of your child's friends live close enough to make carpooling a possibility.

Watch Philadelphia TV channels and the local news, radio or websites for traffic delays due to accidents, road construction, marathons, bad weather or other events. As our Philadelphia couriers can tell you, sitting in traffic wastes time, fuel and money.

Plan your trips for times when traffic is less backed up. Like any major city, Philadelphia is a madhouse at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, so clearly you should avoid driving during this time. It not only saves you money, but prevents stress, too!

Slow down. Philadelphia traffic can be pandemonium, and fast driving uses lots more fuel. At a minimum, stick to the speed limits.

Avoid jerky starts. Flooring the gas pedal eats up gas as well as emitting carbon monoxide into the air, causing as much pollution in one second as a half hour of normal driving.
Avoid a lot of braking. Find a route that has less grade, or travel at a less busy hour. Braking uses up fuel and money and time, not to mention that it wears out your brakes faster, requiring replacement sooner.

Avoid using the air conditioning when possible. Philadelphia summers are hot, and it's hard not to flip on the AC switch, but it can use up to 15 percent more fuel. It's fine to use the air vents, though, so crank open the vents or open your windows as often as possible.
If you do find yourself stuck in traffic, turn off the engine. The engine idling for 60 seconds uses more energy than shutting it off and restarting it.

Park in the shade in summer to keep your car cool and reduce fuel evaporation, and use a windshield shade to make it cooler in the car upon your return.

Finally, make sure your windows are clean, your headlights are bright and working, and that you are not driving distracted by food, radio, cell phones, makeup, or coffee. Accidents are a huge waste of time and money, and they harm the environment as well.

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I want to acknowledge the level of service that Philadelphia Courier Sir Lancellot has provided since I took responsibility for the branch and interoffice courier services at FirstTrust in 2004.

Philadelphia Courier Sir Lancellot consistently adheres to our schedules and can be relied upon to provide dependable, courteous service. From time to time, we have a need for unscheduled courier services. These usually require same day delivery without a lot of advance notice. Sir Lancellot has always been responsive to those needs.

Kathy A. Seidel,
Vice President General Services
First Trust Philadelphia