This article was published in Green Car Clan on 22nd September, 2011.
From the times when the motor car was considered a luxury, we have come a long way. Fuel run vehicles today have become an essential part of our lives. But at the same time now, we have also become morally responsible for our environment. With every technology that we use, we need to be conscious of the carbon footprint we are leaving behind. And as cars have a major role to play in the world of pollution, our driving habits can play a major role in bringing the same down. The next time you get behind the wheel, keep in mind some simple things and play your part to contribute towards a greener tomorrow.
Here are 10 green driving tips for you to make a difference at your own individual level:
1. Go for regular servicing of your vehicle
A well maintained car is an efficient car. Take your car for regular serving at the service. You can also do the basic maintenance by yourself. Follow the users’ manual and make sure that your car’s air filter and fuel filter are clean. Take care that the spark plugs are fine and the brakes are not dragging. You can also keep a weekly/monthly record of the car’s fuel efficiency and if you notice a dip, go for a check-up.
2. Keep the tires properly inflated
Properly inflated tires reduce the fuel consumption of your car. Tires which are inflated to the recommended level can increase fuel efficiency by six percent. Periodic wheel alignments are also known to increase the fuel efficiency by 10 percent. So keep your tires inflated to save money, as well the environment.
3. Maintain your speed limit:
Do not over-speed. Aggressive driving only decreases your car’s fuel efficiency. Speeding means more fuel consumption and most likely leading to increased emissions. Maintaining a steady speed is always healthier for both your vehicle and you.
4. Reduce your trunk load
More load in your car means more work for the car. And more the work, more is the fuel consumption. It is estimated that your car loses two percent of its fuel economy for every extra 100 pounds it caries. So clear the junk in your trunk.
5. Watch your driving style
If you speed, accelerate and also brake hard, you are just depleting your car’s fuel economy by 33 percent. When you are speeding, accelerating and braking, you are actually overcoming inertia, which requires energy. And when you are doing that aggressively, you are consuming more energy, that is fuel.
6. Switch to alternative fuel
Wherever possible, try switching to alternative fuel options like LPG and biodiesel. Biodiesel can actually be inexpensive, contrary to what is commonly believed. Ethanol is another option. It is made from plant material like corn or wood pulp. However, alternative fuel options are subjected to the presence of such plants in your area and that your car has the option to use such fuels.
7. Try alternative mode of travel
You can save fuel and the environment by using public transport or car pool wherever feasible. Car pooling decreases the number of vehicles on the road and, hence, is a great way to save fuel and decrease pollution.
8. Plan your trips/routes
A planned trip means fast movement and it prevents you from losing way or driving around aimlessly. A little forethought before getting behind the wheels will help you to cut down on both fuel waste and emissions. Planned trip/route will also help you to manage your time better.
9. Stop idling your vehicle
It is a myth that turning off and then restarting your engines consume more fuel. In fact, it is idling of the engine when you are on halt that uses more fuel. So, simply stop idling your vehicle to save fuel.
10. Switch to a fuel-efficient car
With almost every other car manufacturing striving to produce fuel-efficient cars, switching to such a car can be a smart move. Apart from that, hybrid cars, like the gas-electric hybrid, are also now available. Keep your eyes and ears open for the upcoming smart options, and make a green switch whenever feasible.