The Pragmatic Environmentalist is all about saving energy whether its in the home, office or car. There are many tips on how to improve the energy use of your car and save gasoline like the ones I found on Yahoo! Green. But I never heard the tip I am about to give you here.
When going to the supermarket, mall or big box discount store (e.g. Wal*mart), park in a spot near the parking lot entrance. Just pull in the lot, take a space at the back and turn off your engine. You can waste a lot gas (and time) trying to get that space close to the store door. Some of your worst gas mileage come when inching through a parking lot.
In a busy store parking lot you can spent a great deal of time idling the engine or inching along waiting for people to move out of your path. There are drivers stopping their cars by the store entrance to pickup passenger or load their vehicles who block your way. There are drivers cruising around to get that close in space that slow everyone down.
Then there is the driver who blocks a lane waiting for another shopper to pull out of their close in space. The shopper usually must first put their purchases in the car, then take his time getting in the car, before finally pulling out of the space. Then the blocker finally pulls in the space and out of your way. This process seems to take 5 minutes or more. All this time, the blocker is wasting your gas, his gas and the gas of many others caught in the gridlock.
The are other advantages to parking in a space near the lot entrance is that they make it easy to get in and out of the lot. This reduces the stress of navigating the parking lot. Sure you have the walk a little further, but it’s a good way to get a some exercise too. With shopping carts its usually not a problem getting your purchases back to your car.
So save a little gas and get some exercise by parking in a space in the back of the lot.