Do you want to do your part to help the planet? Start by taking a look at your car.
Studies have shown that cars release more than 300 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every single year. They also send other pollutants out into the air that cause more than 50,000 premature deaths in the U.S. on an annual basis.
This means you could make a big difference by driving your car less. You can also have your car help the environment by making some small tweaks to it so that it doesn’t produce so much pollution when you drive it.
You don’t necessarily need to buy an electric car to go green. Check out 6 ways to make your vehicle more eco-friendly below.
1. Keep Your Car’s Tires Inflated
Has the tire pressure light on your dashboard been lit up for months now? If so, you’ve wasted a ton of gas by not taking five minutes to fill up your car’s tires.
When your tires aren’t inflated enough, they won’t provide you with the best gas mileage possible. Your car will have to work harder to drive down the street on underinflated tires.
Don’t ignore your tire pressure light. And don’t put off checking your tire pressure yourself now and then. It could save you a lot of money at the gas pump and make your car a little more eco-friendly in the process.
2. Clean out Your Car’s Trunk
Take a look in your trunk. Is it filled with:
- Golf clubs?
- Power tools?
- Kids toys?
Regardless of what you might have rattling around back there, it isn’t doing you any good. It’s making your car weigh more than it should and forcing you to use more gas to drive it.
There’s nothing wrong with putting together a winter car survival kit and leaving that in your trunk. You might want to toss some flares in the trunk, too, in case you ever break down and need car help.
But you shouldn’t keep the contents of your entire garage in your trunk. You’re going to be asking for trouble by putting a more significant strain on your car than you should.
3. Keep an Eye on How Fast You’re Driving
Do you go 80 every time you’re on the highway?
Outside of the fact that you’re breaking the law when you do it, you’re also dragging your car’s fuel efficiency down when you drive over 50 miles per hour. Slow down to stop burning through fuel so fast.
Pay attention to your other driving habits, too. Here are some slight changes you can make to the way you drive to make your car more eco-friendly:
- Try not to start and stop too often when you’re stuck in traffic
- Take one big trip in your car as opposed to a bunch of small ones
- Look up directions when you’re going somewhere new to avoid getting lost
By following these simple steps, you can make your car eco-friendly without making any mechanical changes to it.
4. Avoid Using Your Air Conditioner Too Much
If it’s 100 degrees outside and humid, there’s nothing wrong with turning your air conditioner on and allowing it to cool you off. But you shouldn’t turn your AC on every time you get in the car during the spring and summer. It’s not good for the environment.
Instead, roll your windows down to get some fresh air and cool your car off. And make sure you park your car in the shade, not in the sun, in the spring and summer. This will keep your car nice and cool when you’re not using it.
5. Maintain and Repair Your Car as Necessary
Maintaining your car and making repairs to it over the years will give you a chance to extend the life of it. It’ll also prevent your car from wreaking havoc on the environment.
Take a look at a few maintenance and repair jobs you should do either on your own or with the help of a mechanic:
- Replace dirty air filters
- Replace dirty fuel filters
- Replace old spark plugs
- Replace a cracked or damaged gas cap
- Replace a faulty oxygen sensor
Doing something like installing a new oxygen sensor can improve your gas mileage by as much as 40 percent. It’ll make your car so much more energy efficient.
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to take your car into an auto repair shop at the first sign of trouble. Even a small fix can allow you to reap big rewards in the eco-friendly department.
6. Steer Clear of Allowing Your Car to Idle
Police all across the nation have warned Americans to stop allowing their cars to idle when they’re not in them. An idling vehicle without anyone inside of it is an invitation to a car thief.
But when you let your car idle in your driveway to warm up, you’re doing more than increasing the chances of someone stealing it. You’re also causing your vehicle to burn through fuel unnecessarily and allowing toxic fumes to enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
Do not allow your car to idle in your driveway anymore. And if you ever find yourself sitting in your car with the engine running for an extended period of time while you make a phone call or chat with a neighbor, shut it off.
You’ll make your car more eco-friendly by making a conscious effort not to idle as often as you do now.
Let Your Car Help the Environment Today
You can help the planet in so many ways when it comes to cars. By making your next car an electric vehicle or buying a used car instead of a new one, you’ll be doing a good thing for the environment.
But you can also let your current car help the environment by following all the tips listed here. They’ll make your car greener in no time and make you feel better about the role you’re playing in the Earth’s future.
Check out our blog for more interesting green transportation articles.