Campaign to improve fuel efficiency will help consumers
put money back in their wallets when they need it most
News media may download broadcast quality video, images and radio PSAs at http://www.dwjtv.com/drivesmarterchallenge/
Washington, D.C., May 20, 2008 –The Wal-Mart Foundation today joined the Alliance to Save Energy and more than a dozen other partners to launch the “Drive $marter Challenge.” Earlier this year the foundation donated $675,000 to the campaign, which offers tips to help consumers lower their gasoline usage and increase their cars’ fuel efficiency through vehicle upkeep and smart driving. Helpful online resources in both English and Spanish provide consumers with suggestions on coping with high gasoline prices.
“Wal-Mart understands the impact that rising energy costs have on consumers who are struggling to stretch their dollars during these tough economic times,” said Matt Kistler, senior vice president for sustainability at Wal-Mart. “By working with the Alliance to Save Energy we hope to help Americans across the country save money at the pump so they can live better.”
The campaign Web site, www.drivesmarterchallenge.org, features a calculator that drivers can use to determine how much money, gas, and CO2 emissions they can save by driving smarter. Drivers can also find recommendations for increasing their fuel efficiency. The “Drive $marter Challenge” money and gas saving tips include:
- Slow down to save gas. Drivers can save approximately 80 gallons of gasoline each year by driving sensibly on the highway. Speeding, rapid acceleration and rapid braking can lower gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds.
- Keep tires inflated. Keeping tires properly inflated is simple and improves gas mileage by approximately three percent, saving as much as $65 per year.
- Combine errands/trips. By combining multiple errands into one trip, consumers can drive fewer miles and use less fuel. Several short trips taken from a cold start uses twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip when the engine is warmed-up and efficient.
- Check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing a clogged or dirty air filter can improve a car’s gas mileage, and a clean filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of the engine.
- Select the correct oil. Using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil, including re-refined motor oil, improves gas mileage by one to two percent, resulting in annual savings of up to $40. Changing a car’s oil regularly can extend the life of the vehicle.
The Web site also shows how each visitor plays an important role in curbing energy use and CO2 emissions by displaying a running tally of the cumulative savings of everyone who has taken the “Drive $marter Challenge” pledge.
“The Alliance to Save Energy commends the Wal-Mart Foundation and our other campaign partners for reaching out to American families who are reeling from high gasoline and oil prices with tools for cutting their vehicle fuel costs,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “The Alliance has calculated that the average U.S. household will spend $3,400 on fuel costs in 2008, but the ‘Drive $marter Challenge’ tips and resources are designed to lower these costs and put real money back in consumers’ pockets.”
About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and its foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the company supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in education, job skills training, sustainability, and health and human services. In 2007, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit http://walmartfoundation.org.
About the Drive $marter Challenge
The Drive $marter Challenge campaign partners are the Alliance to Save Energy, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association, American Petroleum Institute, AutoZone, Inc., Car Care Council, ExxonMobil, League of American Bicyclists, National Association of Counties, National Association of State Energy Officials, National Independent Auto Dealers Association, National Low Income Energy Consortium, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Safety-Kleen, U.S. EPA’s SmartWay® and The Wal-Mart Foundation. More information on the campaign can be found at www.drivesmarterchallenge.org.