Automobile manufacturers have taken substantial steps to make their vehicles more environmentally friendly in recent years. However, the industry has been rocked by emissions scandals, leaving consumers unconvinced that they have the planet’s long-term health at heart. If consumers want to make their vehicles more environmentally friendly, they will have to do it themselves. There are lots of ways vehicle owners can ensure that their vehicle is as green as possible.
Here we outline eight ways to make your vehicle more eco-friendly and reduce the size of your carbon footprint.
1. Drive Smarter
Your driving style significantly affects the number of greenhouse gases you put into the atmosphere. A fast, aggressive driving style, with sharp acceleration and heavy braking, slashes your fuel economy and emits more pollutants.
Drive slower and smarter, employing pre-emptive braking techniques. Also, remove any unnecessary items from your car. The added weight pushes your fuel consumption up and increases your spending on gasoline.
2. Maintain Your Vehicle
Ensuring all aspects of your vehicle are running as efficiently as possible is another good way of reducing your vehicle’s emissions output. Every two years, or 5,000 miles (whichever comes sooner), have a mechanic look over your vehicle and change the oil. It is also smart to get a smog check, to see how your vehicle compares with other vehicles in terms of emissions produced.
3. Check Your Tires
Underinflated tires can wreak havoc on your gas mileage. Ensure you are running your tires at the recommended PSI for maximum fuel efficiency. You can usually find this figure in the owner’s handbook or on the driver’s side door.
4.Try Car Pooling
Find out if people from your school or work have similar commutes and see if you can initiate a car-pooling scheme. There is no greener way to drive than by reducing the volume of cars on the road. Not only will carpooling reduce your carbon footprint, but it is also a great way to get to know your classmates and work colleagues.
5. Change the Engine not the Vehicle
Often, people replace their vehicle when they see a significant deterioration in its efficiency. This is an exceptionally wasteful practice. Instead of replacing the entire vehicle when its efficiency deteriorates, consider replacing just the engine. This will save you money and reduce your impact on the planet’s resources.
6. Use the Recommended Oil
One way vehicle owners save some pennies is to use the cheapest oil on offer. This is a short-sighted view that costs you more in the long run. The cheaper oils can hamper the vehicle’s efficiency, pushing fuel consumption up and increasing the vehicle’s emissions.
7. Use a GPS When You Are Unsure
In the days prior to GPS, drivers got lost, stopped and asked for directions, got lost again, stopped again etc. This familiar loop led to enormous amounts of unnecessary driving, idling and accelerating. By using a GPS in unfamiliar locations, drivers can ensure they are taking the shortest possible route to their destination, reducing unnecessary mileage and mitigating their environmental impact.
8. Use Alternate Modes of Transport When Possible
Just because you have a vehicle doesn’t mean you always need to use it. Being environmentally friendly means taking walk, bicycle, using public transport when it makes sense to do so. Your car is greenest when it is at home in the garage. Keep it there whenever possible and only get it onto the roads when you need to.