The most eco-friendly methods of transportation include walking, biking, or taking mass transit, but sometimes your personal vehicle is the best or only choice. When that is the case, you should be careful about how you drive in order to reduce your impact on the environment.
Here are a few practical tips that you might find helpful:
- Do Your Research Before Buying
Purchasing a new vehicle is a significant move for several reasons. The financial impact a purchase decision has on your budget is certainly a consideration, as is the eco-friendliness of the vehicle.
Before making the purchase, take a lookat such factors as fuel economy, CO2 emissions, engine type, drive system, etc. Every one of these factors — and others, as well — plays a role in how green the vehicle can claim to be.
- Stay Current with Repairs and Maintenance
Many people are unaware of one of the major causes of motor vehicle accidents. Distracted driving gets a lot of attention these days, and rightly so, but improper maintenance and repairs are often to blame.
Poor maintenance and repairs have another unsavory side effect: They wreak havoc on the environment. Simple acts like changing your oil, replacing filters, and keeping tires properly inflated can reduce emissions and maximize fuel consumption.
You may not be thrilled to fork over a bunch of money to the auto shop down the street, but you can rest easy knowing you’re doing your part to be an eco-friendly driver.
- Prevent Idling
Idling — as that is, letting the car run without moving — is one of the worst things you can do to the environment. It creates pollution, boosts global warming, and wastes fuel.
Any time you are going to be stopped for longer than 10 seconds, you should turn off your engine. (The amount of gas used to turn on a car is equal to that consumed by idling for roughly 10 seconds.)
Not only should you avoid idling while you’re sitting in the driveway or a parking lot, but it’s smart to plan your routes of travel in such a way that you can avoid stop-and-go traffic as much as possible.
For example, it’s better to take right turns than left, because they don’t require you to sit at stoplights as long.
- Let Your Engine Heat Up
Although this tip presents something of a conflict with the previous one, it’s still a good suggestion. When you start your car during the winter, it’s better to let it run a few minutes before putting it in gear.
A cold engine consumes more fuel and releases more fumes into the air. By warming the engine, you enable your vehicle to require less power while burning the same amount of gas.
- Empty the Trunk
The heavier your vehicle is, the more power it needs to operate properly. This means lighter vehicles are typically more eco-friendly than trucks and SUVs. Though you can’t do anything about the weight of your vehicle itself, you can make sure you aren’t carrying around unnecessary, excess weight.
If something doesn’t need to be in the trunk, take it out. There’s no sense in carrying around a bunch of weight for no reason at all. The only things that should permanently remain in your trunk are emergency kits, spare tires, and items that you use on a regular basis.
Be an Eco-Friendly Driver
You might not believe that you, a single driver among hundreds of millions on the planet, can make a difference, but you can! Every person who practices eco-friendly driving habits such as those outlined above can have a positive impact on both the local and global environment.
Now’s the time to do your part!
Article Submitted By Community Writer