Can I reduce fuel consumption by 10% ?

reduce fuel consumption to save the planetYesterday, I happened to find an article by The Guardian newspaper in the UK called – Exxon Mobil’s response to climate change is consummate arrogance – that shocked me somewhat.

Key points in this article

The report starts by saying that the world’s scientists are predicting terrible things for this planet in the latest climate report. It then goes on to explain how there’s a campaign now to call for divestment from fossil fuel companies. One of the problems with fossil fuel companies is that “oil giants have many times more carbon in their collective reserves than scientists say we can safely burn”. The climate scientists are saying that there’s a limit to how much fossil fuel we can burn and still have a functioning planet. The author then claims that ExxonMobil “said that government restrictions that would force it to keep its reserves in the ground were ‘highly unlikely’ “. The claim is that ExxonMobil thinks they’re more powerful than governments and will be able to ensure their business won’t be hindered. Maybe that’s true.

reduce fuel consumptionDon’t blame the oil companies

Even though I find all of this a bit shocking, I also think we shouldn’t blame the oil giants. If we didn’t want to buy and consume so many fossil fuels, the oil giants wouldn’t be so big and powerful. They wouldn’t find it so easy to make profits. The problem, and the solution, starts with us.

What can I do to reduce fuel consumption?

If the solution starts with us, then it really starts with me. If the world is going to have a chance, then I need to reduce fuel consumption and my reliance on fossil fuels. What can I do turn that around?

reduce fuel consumptionCan I personally reduce fuel consumption by 10% ?

Rather than treat this problem as a huge and insurmountable one, I’m wondering what I’d have to do to reduce my personal fuel consumption and reliance on fossil fuels by just 10%. My guess is that if the whole world reduced its consumption by 10% that would have a huge effect on the global prices of oil and gas, as well as on the global economies. It would be a great start.

Some ideas I have for reducing my fuel consumption by 10% are;

  1. Catch the train to work one day a fortnight (that will be 1 day in 10, or 10% less petrol consumed)
  2. Don’t use the dishwasher and wash the dishes by hand one day a week
  3. Don’t use the clothes dryer and dry naturally once a month
  4. Turn down the central heating by 10% and put on more clothes
  5. Fly less – aim at 10% less but this could be more
  6. When I buy my next car, get a hybrid
  7. Incorporate solar water heating into my next home

Can you help me with ideas to help me reduce fuel consumption?

reduce fuel consumptionI’m really quite committed to this. If I can’t make some sacrifices and reduce my fuel consumption, how could I ever expect the world to do so? I’m really looking forward to getting some good ideas from you.

What can you suggest for reducing fuel consumption?

If I can reduce fuel consumption, this will also have a positive benefit on reducing pollution (Pollution – someone else’s problem?) so there’s a double benefit. This must be a good thing to do. I can’t see any negative except that reducing fuel consumption might be a bit less convenient. I’m also interested in reducing global dependence on artificial fertilizers and pesticides.

I want to try things to reduce fuel consumption, even if they’re a little difficult, and report back on my progress in this blog. Please help me with some of your ideas. Are any of you prepared to try and reduce fuel consumption as well?

2 Responses to “Can I reduce fuel consumption by 10% ?”

  1. Thomas Pearson

    Hi Peter,

    Good to hear you are trying to do “your bit” for the planet.

    I have also taken your “save 10% energy to heart” – I have started to implement the following:

    – turning appliances off at the wall
    – change all light bulbs in my house for energy saving ones
    – doing some washes at 30°C

    …only small things but they add up.

    I read the other day that a typical household could save between £45 and £80 a year just by remembering to turn off appliances left on standby. Another interesting fact was, “If the average household replaced all their remaining old-fashioned bulbs with CFLs and all their halogens with LEDs it would cost around £110 and save around £45 a year”.

    I found some interesting tips here –

    Happy energy saving!

    • Pete

      Hi Tom.

      Thanks for the comments and for the link. There are some good tips there. Points 6 and 7, about the dishwasher and the fridge freezer, caught my eye.

      My motivation is to reduce pollution and our effect on the world, but it seems that succeeding to do this normally reduces costs as well, so it’s a winner from both of those angles.

      If you come across any more good tips, please share them.



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