Eco driving is for travelling by vehicles what insulation is for living in a dwelling. Each makes your life more energy efficient, cheaper, and climate friendly. The goal is to use transport in a sustainable way by reducing fuel consumption, which leads to a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a lowering of the amount of fossil fuel that is imported each year. Importantly there is also the inducement that you save as much as 10-20% of your fuel costs, and reduced maintenance expenses through eco driving. It also reduces the number of vehicle accidents.
Eco-driving is important because transportation accounts for over a third of Ireland’s GHG emissions and transportation by road accounts for about 97% of all transport emissions.
The specific actions that constitute eco driving include: maintaining your vehicle in proper working condition (regular service, oil changes, and proper tire pressure), reducing engine idling, decelerating smoothly, not coasting.
Many of the schools of driving in Ireland provide classes in eco driving, and some companies have provided such classes for their drivers.
Some further ideas to explore on Eco Driving
Train yourself in one of more of the ways of eco driving, and practice these for a month. Then calculate how much money and GHGs you can save by adopting the eco driving technique(s) on a permanent basis.
If you have access to public transportation, calculate how much money and GHGs you can save for each trip by taking public transportation instead of driving to school or work or to shops.
If no public transport is available, calculate how much money and GHGs you can save for each trip by bicycling or walking to school, work or to shops.
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), A Guide to Eco-Driving www.seai.ie/Your_Business/Public_Sector/ECODriving_PDF.pdf
Irish Automobile Association, Eco-driving advice www.theaa.ie/AA/Motoring-advice/Driving-advice/Eco-Driving-Advice.aspx
Emission Zero, Eco Driving Guide www.ecocem.ie/uploads/news/1338536360.pdf