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Slow and steady saves the day – and the pay


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Smooth, steady driving, lower speeds and a sleek vehicle profile all help to reduce fuel consumption and costs, and cause fewer carbon emissions (the emissions that contribute to climate change). Is the message from the council of the City of Cape Town, continuing in their drive to make Cape Town as green as possible and achieving there aim of having a carbon nuetral 2010 World Cup event.

Source: City of Cape Town

Transport consumes more energy than any single other activity or industry sector in Cape Town; it accounts for 55% of our total energy consumption, and for 28% of all carbon emissions. More than half of the energy consumed by the City administration itself is by its vehicle fleet. Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), particularly carbon dioxide (CO²), are produced when fuel is burned in your vehicle’s engine. For every litre of fuel you use, your car generates about 2.4kg of CO² so it makes sense to drive in a fuel efficient manner.

To help you do just this, we’ve compiled a list of fuel-saving tips. Make every day a fuel-saving day, and you’ll save money and help reduce the impacts of climate change.

Ten tips to help you drive efficiently:

  • Service your vehicle regularly. Correctly maintained cars can operate more efficiently and help reduce CO² emissions
  • Check your tyre pressure monthly. Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 40%
  • Remove unnecessary weight from your vehicle. The heavier the car, the higher the fuel consumption, because the engine has to work harder
  • Close your windows at higher speeds and remove empty roof racks. This will reduce wind resistance and can lower your fuel consumption and CO² emissions by up to 10%
  • Use air conditioning sparingly. Unnecessary use increases fuel consumption and CO² emissions by up to 5%
  • Reduce idling. If you are going to stop for more than 60 seconds, turn off your vehicle’s engine
  • Avoid speeding and drive smoothly. Increasing your speed from 100 km/h to 120 km/h can increase your fuel consumption by 20%.
  • When accelerating, change gears as soon as possible. Higher gear ratios consume less fuel
  • Try to anticipate traffic flow. Look at the traffic as far ahead as possible in order to avoid unnecessary stopping and starting in traffic jams
  • Walk, cycle, use a car pool or take public transport. Fewer cars on the road means less congestion and therefore less stop-start traffic (which wastes an enormous amount of fuel).

Cape Town’s fuel-efficiency campaign is part of ‘Green Goal 2010’, Cape Town’s 2010 greening programme. Green Goal will contribute to raising awareness about the importance of minimising waste, diversifying and using energy efficiently, consuming water sparingly, compensating for the event’s carbon footprint, practising responsible tourism, and constructing infrastructure with future generations in mind. These initiatives look beyond the actual time frame of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, and include concerns for post-event environmental, social and economic impacts on the immediate and extended environment.

For more information about climate change and its impact, visit

Martin Pollack 

Date Posted: 2009-10-23
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