News to Use Podcast Transcript: June 2, 2010
Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County News to Use podcast for June 2, 2010. Coming up, learn how to save gas and help air quality this summer, find out how to enjoy a Fairfax County staycation and more on the Fairfax County’s Champions of Character Awards. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Many consider Memorial Day the unofficial start of summer, and families will be traveling over the next several months – many by car. The Fairfax County Department of Vehicle Services offers these suggestions to help with fuel efficiency and air quality:
- Routine oil changes will keep your engine running smoothly, reduce harmful emissions and prolong the life of your vehicle.
- Spark plugs must be in good condition. Some will last for 100,000 miles, but many need to be replaced more often.
- Check the air and fuel filters at least twice a year. Dirty filters increase fuel consumption and can cause poor performance.
- Inflate tires according to manufacturer recommendations. Under-inflated tires are a safety hazard and can cut fuel economy by as much as 2 percent per pound of pressure below the recommended level.
Your driving style can have a significant impact on the amount of fuel you use.
- Know the correct starting procedure for your car. Don’t race a cold engine to warm it up or allow it to idle for an extended time.
- Avoid rapid acceleration until the engine temperature is in the normal range. The engine will warm up faster under a light load and emissions equipment will begin to function sooner.
- Maintain steady speeds for the best fuel economy. A car uses extra fuel when it accelerates. Use cruise control during highway driving as unnecessary changes in speed are wasteful.
- Use the air conditioner conservatively. Most air conditioners have an "economy" or "recirculation" setting that reduces the amount of hot outside air that must be chilled. Both settings can reduce the air-conditioning load —and save gas.
- Avoid long idling.
Also, try to improve your fuel efficient driving with the following suggestions:
- Take your foot off the gas about 100 yards before a stop sign/light.
- Take your foot off the gas when going downhill.
- Make an effort every time you drive to see how much gas you can save.
- Make a game out of it, and try to top the mileage you got on the last tank of gas.
- Telework and carpool.
The long, dark nights of winter are a memory, back muscles have healed from shoveling mountains of snow. Summer is on its way — it's time to plan your vacation. But before you pack up the family mini-van and waste precious time and money on a long-distance trip, check out the wide variety of summer activities available at Fairfax County parks. Whether you're looking for family adventure, kids' activities, outdoor experiences, unique ways to beat the heat or just some fun things to do after 5 p.m., the Fairfax County Park Authority has staycation solutions for everyone. More on your Fairfax County staycation can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/.
Nominations are being accepted for Fairfax County’s Champions of Character Awards. These recognize outstanding youth and adult athletes participating in any county sports league, including interscholastic sports, who have demonstrated extraordinary service in the sports community while modeling the basic traits of good character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The awards program is administered by the Fairfax County Athletic Council (FCAC) and supported by the Department of Community and Recreation Services’ Athletic Services Division.
Applications (PDF) and further information are available online or by calling the Athletic Services Division at 703-324-5533.
That’s all for this News to Use podcast. Thanks for listening. For more information about the topics in this podcast and for continuous news updates, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news. You may also call 703-FAIRFAX, that’s 703-324-7329, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. News to Use is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.