In this day and age, there shouldn’t be any doubt that fossil fuels are the issue that needs to be dealt with. If we take a look at the recent numbers published by the EPA, we can see that up to 75% percent of all carbon monoxide emissions in the USA come from vehicle exhausts. These numbers are comparable to other developed nations as well.
Still, saying that solutions for this glaring problem are completely absent wouldn’t be entirely fair – electric and hybrid vehicles have done a lion’s share of work in reducing dangerous emissions. But, what’s with the rest of us who still can’t afford these expensive cars?
Well, we can do our best to become more eco-friendly drivers. Here’s how.
Drive more economically
If we, once again, take a look at the numbers published by the US Government, we can see that driving consciously can reduce fuel consumption by 30% at high speeds, and up to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. Let’s take a look at a couple of steps that constitute “conscious driving.”
- Avoid aggressive acceleration and sudden breaking – This kind of behavior forces you to go through gears far too often, which, in itself, uses a lot of gas.
- Minimize distractions – Cell-phones, music, and other distractions lower your concentration and encourage the behavior we described above.
- Play down air conditioning – Using air conditioning at lower speeds takes quite a heavy toll on fuel consumption.
- Make use of gears – Driving in high gears when you are going fast and a low gear when you are slowing down helps the engine to use fuel much more effectively.
Replace worn-out parts
To put it simply, a car that has been properly taken care of consumes far less fuel than the ones laden with failures. So, do your best to act upon the first signs of attrition. This measure may sound expensive on paper, especially if you are driving a bigger 4×4 vehicle, but in reality that doesn’t need to be the case. For instance, if you manage to find reliable 4×4 wreckers, you can get some very interesting perks. First, you will be able to buy top-quality original parts and get your vehicle back in shape at a very affordable price. Second, you will save those recyclable items from becoming dangerous waste.
Make most of your routes
Vehicles are tools designed to make our lives comfortable, and that is perfectly okay. The problem arises when we start relying on them to the point of abuse. Try to always keep these few things in mind before sitting behind the wheel.
- Planning makes travel faster – Sometimes, the longer route will allow you to develop a higher speed and make better use of the vehicle’s engine (open roads are always preferable to dense city traffic).
- You don’t need a car for every single chore – If you need to travel only a couple of kilometers, walking or riding a bike is not only a more eco-friendly, but also a far healthier solution.
- Combine errands – Checking a couple of errands in one run will prove to be much more generous to your fuel tank than doing countless “cold-start” short trips.
- Don’t overdo the luggage – The fact that your car can carry some borderline weight doesn’t mean it should ever, in normal circumstances, do that. So, do your best to pack the luggage light.
Buy eco-friendly equipment
Your car may run on fuel, but it uses a lot of other consumable products to be operational. Moving on to eco-friendly alternatives can do a lot to reduce the environmental impact produced by your vehicle. And, taking into consideration the current level of plastic pollution, switching to tires made from synthetic blends does seem like a very good place to start your efforts. From this point on, you can move to green air fresheners, eco-friendly cleansers, and natural wax.
So, there you have it – five tips that should help you become a greener driver even if you are not driving the most eco-friendly vehicle in the world. The most important thing to take from this article is that the fight for a sustainable environment will be won in countless small battles. No matter how big of a contribution you make – it still counts.
By guest author, Mike Johnston