This edition of Truckers News shines light on some of the most innovative ways the trucking industry is working to improve its “green” report card. Doing the right green things in trucking also happens to pay off at the pump. Using environmentally friendly techniques to save fuel, such as reducing idling, lowering highway speeds, correctly inflating tires, optimizing oil changes and purchasing aerodynamic tractors and trailers, serves double duty by reducing emissions and saving money for you or your business. But what about ways you can do your part when you are out of the truck? How green can you be? Here are 10 simple tips I use to include my family in efforts to make the earth a better place.
- Switch from incandescent lightbulbs to compact fluorescent ones. CFLs are more expensive but could save you up to 30 percent on your energy bill. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program says CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescents and last 10 times longer.
- Reduce your water usage by making sure your dishwasher and clothes washer are full before using. Use cold water and line dry when possible.
- Shut down and unplug electronics you aren’t using. If your computer light is on, it’s using energy.
- Refill water bottles with filtered tap water.
- Use reusable cloth grocery sacks. I keep a stash in my car for any impromptu trips to the grocery store.
- Carpool, ride a bike or walk instead of taking the car. Look for opportunities to reduce your four-wheeler usage.
- Support local farmers. We’ve made it a family ritual to shop for fruits and vegetables at our local farmer’s market. We’ve also started buying pumpkins from area farmers, and we choose our Christmas tree from a local grower.
- Plant a tree in a sunny spot in your yard. The shade can reduce your air-conditioning bill.
- Check into green power. Find out if your electric company offers reusable power such as wind or solar.
- Buy used. One man’s trash is another’s treasure, and part of the thrill is always the hunt.
We support the trucking industry’s efforts to do its part to run environmentally friendly trucking operations, but we also believe in making an difference in our own lives.