If one of your resolutions this year was to shift towards a greener lifestyle, but you’re not sure how, you’re not alone. Change is difficult and you cannot undergo a complete transformation overnight, so it’s more than okay to start small. For instance, you can stop using plastic bags and say no to processed foods. If you want to go bigger, invest in energy-efficient appliances and buy a smart Eco-friendly car. Transportation is a major contributor of greenhouse gases worldwide, so we can make a notable difference by opting for sustainable travel.
Electric and hybrid cars are frequently labelled as environmentally-friendly, but their price tag is far from pocket-friendly. Fortunately, you don’t need to own the latest Tesla to go green; there are several ways to make your current car more eco-friendly:
1. Keep your Car Tuned
Keeping the car’s engine in optimum condition should be your first priority; otherwise, all your efforts to make your travel sustainable add up to zilch. Timely tuning will enable your automobile to operate efficiently, emit fewer pollutants, and increase its longevity. Regular tune up increases mileage by 4% on average; when a serious issue is discovered, the car’s performance may improve up to 40% after being fixed. Tuning generally includes checking, cleaning, and repair/replacement of air filters, spark plugs, wiring, oxygen sensor, etc.
You greatly reduce the risk of operational failures and auto accident injuries when you keep your car tuned up. Delaying repairs/replacements or ignoring car warnings can lead to irreversible and extremely costly damages.
2. Fuel up the right way
We tend overlook how harmful gasoline actually is because of how often we are around it. It is a volatile fluid, which is highly flammable and produces toxic fumes. If spilled, it can sink into groundwater and contaminate water bodies. Many drivers have a habit of topping up the gasoline tank after the automatic nozzle shuts off. Keep in mind that your car’s tank needs a little extra space for the fuel to expand on ignition.
Filling your tank to the brim pushes the fuel into the carbon filter and affects the car’s vapor collection system, which is designed to lower hazardous emissions. As a result, your engine takes the damage and the performance of your car deteriorates. You can protect yourself and the environment by breaking the habit of topping up, or fuelling up to 75-80% of the tank’s capacity.
3. Tweak your Tires
Maintaining optimum air pressure in car tires is one of the simplest ways to improve fuel efficiency. Poorly inflated tires don’t roll with ease, i.e. the engine has to work twice as hard to move them. Low tire pressure results in wastage of millions of gallons of gasoline every day, thus do a favor to yourself and the environment by getting your car tires checked at least once a month. If your tires are currently in good condition, keep their pressure balanced for extended durability. If your tires need to be replaced soon, opt for an eco-friendly option. Many modern tires are made from materials that are safe for the environment (artificial rubber composites) and possess better-rolling resistance to boost gas mileage.
4. Carpool and avoid concise trips
There would be a lot less air pollution if there were lesser cars on the roads. A lower amount of active vehicles per unit time also translates to decreased burning of fossil fuels. Carpooling can reduce transportation costs up to 75% because ideally four people travelling to the same destination can share one car instead of driving 4 cars individually. If everyone starts carpooling, traffic can be cut down to a quarter and everybody would gain/improve friendships. Prefer to walk or use a bicycle to travel short distances as much as possible.
5. Employ green cleaning practices
A few adjustments to your automobile cleaning routine can significantly make it greener. Instead of using a hose to wash down your car, try a waterless approach. The hose and bucket method uses up more than 100 gallons of water, whereas a professional car wash consumes between 40-50 gallons. Waterless cleaning solutions utilize minimum moisture, deep clean, and provide a shiny finish that acts as a protective surface layer. Moreover, always look for cleaning supplies that are free of toxic chemicals, or are labeled as ‘environmentally friendly’.
6. Limit usage of your Car AC
It is tempting to blow up the car’s air conditioner on a hot day, though you should be aware that this increases fuel consumption to 20% on average. Opt for a cracked window instead of a cranked up AC to cool down and be good to your environment, especially for short trips. If you absolutely must turn on the air conditioner, choose a low to moderate setting rather than blasting it to the max.
7. Stop Engine Idling
We’ve all done it or frequently do it out of habit, without realizing the consequences. We keep the engine running while we wait in a drive-thru, outside the children’s school, or someplace else on a cold day. We think a minute or two doesn’t make a difference, even though it often extends to half an hour or more; we are literally burning fuel and releasing toxic gases the entire time we idle. Ten minutes of idling uses up gas enough to drive 20 miles and releases about a pound of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Idling accumulates gasoline residue, which impairs the engine and wastes fuel; stopping the car and then restarting it shortly does no harm.
John Adams is a technology enthusiast, lifestyle blogger, and paralegal at a personal injury law firm. He writes about widespread social and legal issues, aiming to help readers solve problems the smart way, rather than the hard way. He also loves sharing personal views on technological developments and trending life hacks.