Being conscientious about fuel consumption and reducing your carbon foot print are very important when trying to save the planet. There are numerous ways that you can make changes to your lifestyle and driving habits that can help reduce emissions. Here are 7 eco driving tips that can help you do your small part in the contribution to the protection of your environment.

Credit: redvette via Flickr

7. Drive 55 miles per hour when on the highway trying to not go over 55 miles per hour.

Driving faster than 55 mph wastes gas and can actually decrease fuel efficiency by 10 percent or more for every 5 miles that you drive over.

6. Accelerate and brake slower when driving.

If you are burning rubber at every stop light, you may want to consider that aggressive acceleration and hard braking will reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 30 percent. Not only does this raise emissions from your automobile but it is also costing you up to $300 or more per year.

5. Keep your engine tuned up.

Oil changes, engine tune-ups, and keeping filters clean is another way to increase the efficiency of your vehicle and help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is released due to inefficiency. To further save gasoline and reduce emissions, try to remove any heavy stuff that may be in your vehicle's trunk that is weighing it down. This will lower the weight of the vehicle and get you more miles to the gallon.

4. Use your cruise control.

Using cruise control in your vehicle will allow you to maintain a constant speed while you are on the highway and can reduce the amount of fuel that you burn. You can save an average of 10 percent on fuel costs if you activate your cruise control on the highways.

3. Start a car pool.

If you have friends that are into eco-friendly driving, then you may be able to set up a car pool. You can set up a schedule in order to do groceries, run errands, or even a night on the town. This is a great way to keep in touch with friends while still being green. You can even trade eco driving tips while conversing on the road.

2. Try to make your vehicle more aerodynamic.

If you have a storage compartment or a bike rack on the top of you car, you may want to have these removed. This adjustment can make your car more aerodynamic, reduce drag, and will improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle while driving at higher speeds on the highway.

1. Do not let your car idle for long periods of time.

If you are parked for longer than a minute, you may want to turn off your engine. This will also save gas and can potentially increase fuel savings by up to 20 percent while preventing potential engine overheating.

These eco driving tips will help you save money by increasing vehicle efficiency and reducing the amount of emissions that are released from your vehicle. With these eco driving tips, you can do your part to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy this planet for years to come.