Green Credentials Uniting Communities won the 2010 Australasian Fleet Management Association Fleet Environment Award.

Uniting Communities is the first Australian Registered Charity and first South Australian organisation to be certified Carbon Neutral in accordance with the Federal Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard.

Uniting Communities’s fleet vehicle usage makes up 23% of our total carbon footprint. The figures are similar for the average household. Reducing vehicle and fuel usage will not only reduce carbon emissions but also save you money.

Here are some ways for you to drive green For some of us, relying on pedal power and public transport just isn’t possible. Cars are a necessity to get to work and to do our jobs. This doesn’t mean that, as a driver, you can’t save money and reduce carbon emissions. Everyone can be a part of the solution.

Unload it

Car additions or weight increases air resistance and fuel consumption, sometimes by over 20%. When you don’t need them, take off bike and roof racks and leave the golf clubs and baby strollers at home. Smarter air- conditioning Air conditioners can use about 10 % extra fuel. If it is hotter inside your car than outside, wind the windows down for a few minutes to help cool the car and then put the air conditioning on.  However, if you are driving over 80 km/h in hot weather, air conditioning is better for fuel consumption than an open window because of the aerodynamic drag.   Inflate tyres properly  Driving with under-inflated tyres increases fuel consumption because they need more energy to roll. Inflating your tyres to the manufacturer’s recommendation can save money on fuel and around 100kg of greenhouse emissions per year.  You will also improve the handling and life of your tyres too. Stick to the speed limit Apart from being safer, this saves on fuel efficiency, especially at higher speeds  At 110 km/h your car uses up to 25 per cent more fuel than it would cruising at 90 km/h. Plan your trip Stop/start driving is much less efficient and more polluting than driving at a constant speed. Try to avoid travelling during peak hours and on congested roads.  Share the journey Combine your trip with another colleague. Ask your colleagues if they can give you a lift.

The myths of idling

Even in winter, warming up your engine takes 30 seconds. Any longer has no benefit for modern cars. And if you are going to be parked for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Idling for longer uses more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it.