With over a billion passenger cars on the streets, and nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries like the US being attributed to transportation, the facts and impact of motorized vehicles are undeniable. While many of us car owners can’t afford to fork out a cool mint for that shiny new electric vehicle, we can certainly do our part to minimize the adverse impact our gas guzzlers have on the environment. Below are a few ways we can all be greener, eco-friendly car owners:
Lighter is better
The color of your car can have a huge impact on heat absorption/dispersion. If you’re going for a new coat or buying a new car, opt for a lighter color, and if possible, tinted windows. This will help you use the air conditioner far less.
Reduce weight and friction
Physics 101 – The heavier your car is more energy (i.e. fuel) it will require, and therefore the more it will pollute. Same goes for anything that causes air resistance, like bullbars or roof-racks. Clear out that trunk, take of the accessories, and keep your car light, agile and environmentally friendly.
The rubber on the road
Your tires can have a major impact on fuel consumption & emission. Check and keep your tires inflated at the appropriate pressure and if possible, install low resistance tires. This can help save 100s of gallons of fuel & emit less heat.
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Turn it off
If your vehicle is idling or stuck in traffic for 45 seconds or more, turn off the engine, and re-start again when you’re ready to go. Not only does it lead to less emmissions, but it’s also more fuel efficient.
Better habits for lower emissions
- Don’t rest your food on the brake – this increases drag, fuel consumption, and heat/emission
- Use cruise control whenever possible
- Maintain a steady speed, and go with the flow of traffic, instead of accelerating our decelerating frequently
Leave it at home!
Next time you’re venturing down a few blocks, need a quick trip to the grocery store, or not really in much of a rush, opt to walk or take the bicycle instead. It’s better for your health, as well as the environment!
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