Everyone needs to travel, short or long distances, but how do you make your journeys greener? Public transport is a great option, but not always practical for peoples schedules. As most people drive, getting the most (or the least CO2) out of your car is important. Electric cars and more economical models are getting more popular and have a larger range of models, but buying a new car is not always an option.
Here are a few tips for driving more economically that everyone can use:
- When driving in high gears at around 50-60 miles per hour, your emissions are at their lowest. On the other hand, driving below 15 miles per hour creates the most pollution.
- Using a higher gear and changing up to them quickly reduces emission output. Although changing too soon is not great for the engine. Every car is different, but listening to the engine is a good way of telling when to change gear.
- Maintaining your car and ensuring it is functioning properly can greatly decrease emissions. Inflating tyres, changing oil, maintaining coolant levels and new brake pads are just a few things that can improve performance and lower emissions.
- Using Air Conditioning causes your engine to rev higher, creating more emissions and using more fuel. To see the effects of this, try turning on your A/C when parked and you will see the revs rise.
- In heavy traffic it is easy to get heavy footed. When you are rolling along, see if you can get into another gear instead of pushing 1st. In long queues and standing traffic, turn off your engine. Most modern cars are economical on start up, so it will save in the long run.
- Try not to get stressed. A few second of aggressive driving can cause the equivalent of 30 minutes of normal driving emissions.
- Cooling your car down is important, if you can park in shade rather than in sunlight, you will help the engine cool, reducing usage costs.
- Car sharing is a great option for work and school runs. Whilst not always do-able, it could half usage of your car and emissions.
- Carrying extra weight around may seem like a necessity, but it can affect the performance more than you would think. It could be similar to driving around with extra passengers.
- Alternative fuels may seem like a big step, but more and more people are doing it. With a small outlay to modify the car you can create big savings
Of course, these steps cannot be taken all the time by everyone, but as people tend to get set in their ways, especially regarding driving habits, they are important to consider for the environment and your pocket.