There are a lot of advances in technology that make modern vehicles more eco-friendly than ever. Just don’t assume that buying a new car is always the best choice if you’re worried about your carbon footprint. In some cases, it’s actually better to keep your existing vehicle.
Whether you’re trying to keep your perfectly functional car out of the landfill or you simply can’t afford to buy a new one, there are things you can do to make your car more eco-friendly. You may even save some money in the process!
Go Easy on the Gas
DUIs aren’t the only thing that can get you in trouble behind the wheel. There are a variety of vehicular crimes that can cost you time in jail and money in the form of fines, but they can also cost you money at the gas pump!
Erratic driving, like speeding, slamming on the brakes, and accelerating quickly require more energy from your car, which means you’ll go through gas more quickly. It can also put more wear and tear on your vehicle, which means you’ll have to replace parts more often.
Go easy on the gas and drive more carefully. Not only will you stay out of legal trouble, but you’ll save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Even if you always drive cautiously, you’ll have to take your car in at least every once in a while. Don’t avoid it because you worry how much it might cost!
It’s important to follow your car’s schedule for oil changes, as it can ensure all the parts under the hood run smoothly and last longer. However, it’s also important to have parts repaired whenever you become aware of an issue.
A few things you should keep on top of in order to keep your car running at its peak include:
- Changing your engine air filter
- Inspecting and refilling fluids
- Examining belts and hoses
- Removing battery corrosion
If you continue to drive without making repairs, you end up putting stress on other parts of your car, which means you’ll eventually end up repairing or replacing even more parts. If it’s bad enough, you may have to replace your car altogether when you could have driven it for at least a few more years.
Pay Attention To Your Tires
Your tires have the potential to increase your fuel economy, which means fewer trips to the pump. That’s good for your pocketbook, but it’s also good for the environment. Over time, you could end up putting fewer emissions in the air.
Saving money on gas is as easy as making sure your tires are properly inflated. Check the air in your tires at least once a month, but you may want to consider checking them more often in the winter when the PSI in your tires decreases more quickly.
You can also consider replacing your tires. Tires with low rolling resistance have the potential to add one or two mpg to your vehicle!
Lighten Your Load
What are you driving around that you don’t need? Old candy wrappers aren’t likely to be a big deal, but heavier items in your trunk and in the backseat can make your car significantly heavier, which means you’ll need more gas when you drive.
Go through your car and get rid of stuff you don’t really need. Leave the kids’ stroller in the garage instead of the trunk, bring cases of water inside as soon as you return from the grocery store, and pack light when you go on a road trip to get the most out of your gas tank.
You may not have to do anything to your car at all to make it more eco-friendly. Instead, it may simply be a case of changing your behavior.
Spending less time in the car will automatically make any vehicle more economical. One of the best ways to do that is to combine trips.
For example, you might stop at the grocery store on the way home instead of coming home and going back out later in the evening. Run errands on the other side of town in a single day, and consider ride sharing with other people you work with.
Replacing your car may be a good option if you’re worried about the environmental impact of your vehicle, but it isn’t your only option. No matter what kind of car you have, there are plenty of things you can do to make it a little less harmful to the environment.
Read this post for tips on how to best protect your car in different weather conditions.