When you think of being fuel efficient, your first thoughts are probably geared toward your car. Most people equate fuel efficiency with how much money they save when filling the gas tank and how much gas they're using when driving their vehicles. Your vehicle isn't the only thing using fuel in your life, and by being more fuel efficient, you're doing more than just saving money.

Fossil Fuels And The Environment

Your vehicle runs on fossil fuels – unless you have a 100-percent electric vehicle. However, cars aren't the only things using fossil fuels, and gasoline isn't the only fossil fuel. Other fuel types that fit into this category include alcohol and coal.

The majority of these fossil fuels are created from resources that are considered non-renewable – which means that when we run out of them, there will be no more. Here is a look at some of the specific fuels you use each day, and how you use them.

fossil fuels


Again, the most common fuel most people think of when it comes to the topic of fuels and fossil fuels is gasoline. This is a fuel that is a must when it comes to transportation, from public transportation to keeping your personal vehicle on the road.

Diesel, as well as gasoline, are used to transport kids to school, move food and items into grocery and big box stores, and to help fly people around the world. Both of them are non-renewable sources – so, once the earth is depleted of its crude oil deposits, it'll be too late to find a new way to gas up your vehicles (which is why hybrid cars are an excellent invention, and a great way to be more fuel efficient).


Coal may be what is keeping the lights on in your home since many electrical plants run on this nonrenewable resource. While fewer homes are burning coal right inside the house, it's still a fossil fuel source that is important to your day to day life.

There's a whole process the coal goes through before producing the energy in your home, though it doesn't directly create electricity. However, without it, probably half the homes in the United States would not have electricity at all.

Natural Gas

Many homes that have gas-powered furnaces, water heaters, and stoves (and even dryers), run off of natural gas. This type of gas is made up of methane, and sometimes other gases, and is found in pockets underground, near deposits of oil.

When the oil is gone, the natural gas pockets will be gone – making this another non-renewable energy source. You may not see the end of natural gas in your lifetime, but what about your grandchildren and their grandchildren?


Ethanol, which is a form of alcohol, has been added to the fuel supply – to take some of the “heat” off of gasoline, so to speak. Ethanol, a fuel made from corn, is mixed with gas to make the supplies last longer, and it seems to be working (and works just as well as gas on its own).

Not all vehicles are created equal though, so make sure yours is OK to run on this blend before trying to save some money (and the environment).

These are just a few of the non-renewable fossil fuels that are out there, but they are the main ones that are helping to “fuel” your life. So, how can you be more fuel efficient with them, and try to help keep them from depleting before your grandchildren have their own grandchildren?

How To Live More Fuel Efficiently

If you want to live a more fuel-efficient life, save some money, help the environment, and lower your carbon footprint, there are many things you can do. There are things you can do inside of your home and while you're in your car.

holding a healthy environment

Use Less Electricity At Home And At The Office

Cut back on your electrical usage, and you'll definitely make a dent in your pocket. There are many ways you can do this. There are some electrical run items you can't turn off, like your refrigerator, but here are some things to do to cut down on your carbon footprint when it comes to electricity, and they may even save you some money on your electrical bill 

  • Buy Energy Star Products – From computers and printers to your refrigerator, microwave, washing machine, and furnace, you can buy products that are made to use electricity more efficiently. These are products that use less energy when in use and when they are simply plugged in and turned off.
  • Unplug Once in a While – Speaking about having stuff “plugged in,” many electronics continue to use energy even when they're off if they're left plugged in. Using a power station adapter that has an on/off switch can be handy – plug in the items that not need to always be plugged in and shut them all off at the end of the day just by flipping one switch.
  • Set the Air at a Decent Temperature – Living in warmer climates can cause pretty high electric bills, but that doesn't have to be the case. The less your air conditioner turns on, the less you'll spend on running it – so keep it set around 78 degrees F for best results in money and energy saving. Only run it when you need it to – on breezy days that are cooler, shut it off and open the windows instead.

Cut Back On Natural Gas Usage In Your Home

lit natural gas appliance

You can also save money on natural gas usage. If any of the following things run on natural gas in your home, here are some of the ways you can save money and cut back on how much gas you're consuming –

  • Your FurnaceSet your heater at around 68 degrees F. This is the ideal temp for money saving. If you still feel a little cold, throw on an extra layer of clothing.
  • Your Range Start saving energy by investing in a stove that is Energy Star rated – then start cooking with it less. Don't use the stove on hot days, make sure food is ready the moment the oven is preheated, and turn off burners to let food cool instead of turning them to low.
  • Your Water HeaterYou don't need to have your water heater turned up high – you don't want scalding water in the shower. Keep it turned up just enough to give you the hot water you need for showers and dishes (temperatures will vary depending on your heaters age, among other things).

Save On Gasoline On The Road

There are ways you can save money on your vehicle gasoline and put less pollution into the air. One of the best is to invest in a more fuel efficient and earth-friendly care or don't drive at all!

  • Buy a Hybrid VehicleHybrid vehicles aren't a great deal more expensive than their “normal” counterparts. You can find an affordable vehicle that is friendlier to the air you breath and gives you way better gas mileage.
  • Use Public Transportation – Public transportation, like buses, will be running whether you're on them or not, so why not use them? You'll save money on gas while avoiding adding more pollutants from your own vehicle into the atmosphere.
  • Walk or Ride a BicycleTake some time off from driving a vehicle at all (or riding in one) by walking where you need to go or investing in a bicycle. Not only will you save money and help save the earth, but you'll also get some extra exercise.
  • Get an Emissions Test on Your Vehicle – Is your vehicle releasing too many toxic fumes into the atmosphere? Some states require emissions tests on vehicles before legalizing them to be driven on the road. Get yours tested even if you don't live in such a state.
  • Drive Smart – Drive the speed limit. A steady speed helps with lowering your gas mileage. Take roads that have less stop and go traffic as well.

How Your Fuel Efficiency Helps The Planet

gas pump petrol stations petrol gas

By using fewer fossil fuels, you're helping to keep from depleting these resources, while also ensuring that less of the toxins created by their use go into the atmosphere. Toxins in the atmosphere affect the climate, through global warming and climate change – which leads to worse storms, melting glaciers, and more. Do your part and cut down on your use of fossil fuels.