Becoming an eco-friendly driver doesn’t have to mean owning a hybrid or riding a bike, there are some simple steps to go green.
Articles about energy efficiency for cars will often focus around one of two things – how to drive more efficiently, and how good electric and hybrid cars are. If you can buy a hybrid car or electric car then great, you’ll save a lot of fuel, but unfortunately most of us can’t afford to change to these relatively expensive cars when there’s nothing wrong with our own and this means we’re stuck with our own vehicles.
Another way you can make your driving more eco-friendly though is to think about how you can make your own car at least as energy efficient as it can be through the right maintenance and by making a couple of changes. Here we will look at how to accomplish that so that your vehicle is as fuel efficient as it can be and so that all of your eco-friendly driving is maximized as a result.
Tires: Pumping up our tires is routine maintenance but it’s something lots of us will forget about until it becomes a problem. Just because your car is still driving okay doesn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from a top up of air and it’s free at many gas stations. If each time you top up your car with gas you also top it up with air, then you’ll use less fuel to travel the same distances and you’ll get around faster too.
Weight: If your car is carrying excess weight then that of course means you’re going to use more fuel to travel. Many of us will have all kinds of junk in our trunk that we don’t need from garage sales, to journeys to visit friends and generally from regular living. Every single one of these items costs you money and damages the environment when you drive – so make sure that you remove anything that’s unnecessary.
Likewise you can also take this further should you want to. For instance you may want to consider removing some of your car’s permanent fittings if you want to travel further on less fuel. Sports car drivers of course will ‘strip’ their vehicles of anything unnecessary including their chairs and other items and will replace heavier materials with light carbon fiber which will allow them to go faster. If you want to be really eco-conscious then you could consider doing something similar, or at least take this factor into account when deciding whether you need that large sub woofer.
Aerodynamics: The aerodynamics of your car refer to how easily it cuts through wind resistance. In other words if your car is shaped like an arrow, then it will have to fight less of a ‘wall’ of air than it would if it were shaped like a brick. Little things that can make your car more aerodynamic include keeping your windows up, avoiding cracks and chips in your auto glass, and not attaching anything to the car that protrudes in any way.
Maintenance: Generally looking after your car will help it to perform more safely as well as more efficiently. This means making sure your shocks, breaks, pedals and of course exhaust are all in working order and generally investing some time and money into having it checked over. The better you treat your car, the better it will treat you and the environment.
Image via Flickr: bisgovuk