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ESLC offers tips to beat traffic, fuel costs this summer

Queenstown, Maryland – June 25, 2008 – With the summer travel season in full gear and as part of their “Love the Land” consumer education campaign, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), a private, nonprofit land conservation organization, is offering Eastern Shore residents ways to survive the  ever-growing fuel costs and busy summer traffic season With summer kicking off the beginning of the “ozone season” it is an ideal time to remind residents about the small ways they can help protect the Shore from the effects of global warming.

ESLC encourages people across the Eastern Shore to consider taking a few simple steps—actions that fit into busy schedules—to help ease traffic congestion in our area and make the air we breathe a little cleaner. These include walking or biking to work when possible, carpooling and ride sharing, teleworking as well as keeping your vehicle maintained to ensure optimal performance.

Some ways to help your family manage the busy summer traffic season include the following
• Drive a well maintained vehicle: Keeping your vehicle tuned up is not only a good idea to ensure its long life but also a great way to reduce emissions and increase your own gas mileage. Simple routine maintenance items such as rotating tires, changing air filters and properly inflating tires can help your automobile produce 20 percent less zone-related emissions.
• Walk or bike to work: On the Eastern Shore’s rural landscape, this may not be the most feasible option for most of us so if you are one someone who lives near work, take advantage of the chance to get some extra exercise to work. You will not only reduce the number of cars on the road, but you’ll get a bit of cardio in at the same time!
• Carpool: Catching a ride with a co-worker or someone who works nearly is a great way to decrease fuel costs and enjoy some fellowship and conversation during the daily commute. Just think of the lower gas and car maintenance bills! Want to see exactly how much you could save by sharing a ride to work? Visit Commuter Choice Maryland’s website at commuterchoicemaryland.com and click on “Ways to Save.”
• Telework or consider an alternate work schedules: Many employers allow their staff to work compressed schedules or work a certain number of days from home. Telecommuting, or working from a remote location closer to your home even one day a week can save the average driver 1,200 miles a year on their car and approximately 60 gallons worth of gas. There’s a nationwide initiative to encourage employers to offer their employees a broad range of commuting options, including telecommuting.  It’s called Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC).  In addition to saving time and money, BWC employers and employees report high rates of productivity, strong morale, and less stress trying to juggle family and work commitments.  So, ask about it at work.  (Visit www.bwc.gov for more information.)
• Trip Chain: How many times do you make multiple trips for multiple errands? This practice that all of us tend toward is not only time consuming but also consumers more fuel. When you first start a car after it’s been sitting for more than an hour, it pollutes up to five times more than when the engine’s warm.
• Refuel when its cool: Refueling during cooler periods of the day or in the evening can prevent gas fumes from heating up and creating ozone. And that can help reduce ozone alert days.

“With fuel prices reaching unimaginable heights during what is always a busy traffic time on the Eastern Shore, there are so many things each of us can do to lessen the strain on our pocketbooks and local roadways that can have a major impact,” said Kristine George, ESLC’s Director of Communications.

ESLC will launch a transportation campaign later this fall aimed at identifying ways the region and its elected officials can effectively shape and influence transportation deisions. A transportation summit, is slated to take place November 7 at Chesapeake College with other educational opportunities and events planned throughout the rest of the year.

For more details about how you can make a difference on the Eastern Shore, either by learning more about the   “Love the Land” campaign, protecting your land, becoming a member of ESLC or learning more about what you can do in your local community, please visit ESLC’s website at www.eslc.org.

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