6 Tips on How to Become an Eco-friendly Driver
In the time of global warming and climate changes, it’s imperative we all look for ways of reducing our environmental impact and this needs to include our cars as well. As much as some people have to drive, there are ways of being greener and contributing to the global movement for the preservation of our planet.
Here are 6 ways you can do to be a eco-friendly driver and increase your fuel efficiency without necessarily buying an electric or hybrid car.
1. Plan your trips
Before you set off to any longer journeys by car, it’s recommendable you plan your trip in detail, especially if you want to visit more places. Knowing where you’ll be stopping, what the terrain and weather conditions are and how much mileage you’ll be crossing can help you be more efficient both with fuel and time consumption.
2. Maintain your car regularly
Regular maintenance, yearly check-ups and servicing which typically involves cleaning your car’s filters are essential in decreasing your emissions and improving your car’s performance. According to research, regular car tuning can save you up to 4% on gas and a new air filter can raise your car’s efficiency by 10%.
3. Drive lighter
Although we know that heavier cars are safer on the road, especially in winter conditions, but in more favourable weather, it’s wiser to lose some of the excess load. Besides the typical emergency items and your daily bag, make sure you’re not unnecessarily carrying around spare bags. Any extra weight will increase your car’s fuel consumption and reduce its efficiency.
4. Check your tyres
When tyres are filled to their recommended pressure, your gas consumption will be lower and as estimates show, around 2 billion gallons of gas could be saved each year if drivers made sure their tyres were inflated properly.
Another influential factor for greener driving is the tyre tread. The legal minimum tread depth in some countries, such as Australia, is 1.5mm which means all treads across the entire tyre can’t be shallower than this. If they are, you are driving illegally and you’re endangering your life, the lives of your passengers and other drivers on the road.
If you need to replace your tyres, you should consider purchasing low-resistance tyres that will ensure a smooth and comfortable ride which will help cut down your fuel costs. Truthfully, low-rolling resistance tyres do have less tread life in comparison to conventional tyres, but the fuel savings they ensure can compensate for a shorter life span. And, as fuel prices continue to rise, the higher price of low-rolling tyres quickly disappear especially when you factor in the savings on fuel.
5. Broken gas caps leak fuel
Most drivers fail to check their gas caps but these could be one of the culprits for fuel loss if they’re cracked or broken. According to official estimates, around 17% of all cars on the road have damaged caps which leads to 147 million gallons of gas evaporate each year.
6. Drive more responsibly
Maintaining a steady and constant speed helps reduce the amount of fuel you burn so a lighter foot on your gas pedal means fewer stops at the petrol station. Try focusing on accelerating smoothly and paying more attention to what’s happening far ahead so you could predict the need to brake and come to a more gradual stop rather than breaking violently. Also, stick to the proposed speed limit not just because it’s the law but also because higher speed means more fuel burned.
By being more careful about how you drive, you can improve your gas mileage and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. Make a conscious effort to avoid hard and sudden accelerations and slamming on the brakes. Don’t idle more than 30 seconds while you sit in the car and remove excess cargo and heavy load from your car even if it’s not in use. It may take some time to develop these good habits, but your effort will pay off in the long run.
If every driver did their part, we could reduce our environmental impact substantially. Just driving more economically will have a surprising effect on reducing fuel consumption and with a gradual tweak of driving habits, you’ll also be able to reduce damage to the vehicle. Speaking long-term, you’ll also save more money. In essence, eco-friendly driving means driving safely as well.
Mike Johnston is an avid creative writer and blogger. He is a regular contributor to the Smooth Decorator blog. Mike’s Specialties are home improvement and interior design, but he also loves writing about small business, entrepreneurship, family life, green living and many other topics. Mike’s goal is to create interesting and compelling content that will help readers navigate through these vast and ever-changing fields.
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