Going green takes a lot more than just choosing a car with low fuel consumption, it also boils down to how you drive. It is common knowledge that cars are machines that emit the most greenhouse gasses and damage the environment we live. If we are to conserve the environment, we have to first change the way we think, then adopt some simple environmental friendly driving practices that result in lower emissions.
What’s more, these practices will also save you hundreds of dollars on gas costs annually, and I am sure you could with any extra dollar you can save. These 10 ideas will minimize the impact your car has on the environment while keeping your mileage down.
i) First rule of driving: Unless you are in a race, you have absolutely no reason to accelerate or brake too fast. Even if you have a car that goes from 0 to 60 miles an hour in 5 seconds, you need to accelerate gradually and evenly – and brake at the same pace. Screeching tires damages your tires bit also consumes more than double the fuel you would have used over the same distance if you accelerated or braked gradually.
ii) Service your car regularly. Ensure that you are using the right motor oil and that all the movable parts in your car are working smoothly. Regular car maintenance including clearing the air filter and ensuring that the movable parts are greased ensures the car burns fuel right and reduce emissions.
iii) Always keep your speed within the legal limit. This may be a little difficult for many drivers because with the powerful and fast cars we have today, maintaining a speed of 50 in a clear smooth road takes patience. Observing the speed limit saves you gas and will also keep you and other drivers safe.
iv) Do not keep your car in idle mode for too long. Getting a snack at a drive through? Stuck in traffic? If you are going to be stationary for over two minutes, switch of your engine and save fuel and at the same time stop emissions.
v) Keep your car light. Are you on of those people who carry all sorts of stuff in their trunk – from umbrellas to mower parts? The heavier your car, the more gas it will burn to get to where you are going. Get rid of everything you do not need and keep the weight of the car low.
vi) Check your tire pressure. It is important that your tires have the right pressure – when the tires are over inflated or underinflated, your car will not only be unstable and the tires will wear out faster, but it will also use up more fuel hence more emissions and more money.
vii) Turn off any electronic devices you do not use. These include the humidifiers, a/c unit and the radio. The same applies to lights – unless you need to keep them on, turn them off. Although these electric and electronic gadgets and lights do not use gas, they exert a load on the alternator which causes the engine to run faster, burning more fuel.
viii) Are you driving for a long distance? Drafting, which is driving behind a large truck or a bus, will help you get far with much less fuel. However, be careful not to get too close. You can save as much as half the fuel you could use over half the road trip if the road is good enough for drafting.
ix) Carpooling is highly recommended if you and your friends or neighbors have to drive the same distance more regularly. If you have to go to work every day, hook up with two or three other friends that drive to the same area or part of town and share the costs of gas and maintenance of the car. You will be conserving the environment three times over how much you would be individually when you carpool.
x) Take shorter, less congested routes. This is where it really pays to have a GPS in your car, and probably a subscription to a GPS service to update you on traffic. A GPS can help you find the best routes, choose safer roads and avoid traffic.
To see if you are being friendly to the environment and how much gas you use up, keep track of your gas mileage. Everyone needs to keep track of how much gas they use because saving the environment is more important than anything else now.
James McDonnel contributed this guest post. James is an automotive enthusiast and a freelance writer. He writes for wish.co.uk and he enjoys rare driving experiences like the ones they offer on their web site.