Who would have thought that you could even green up your driving habits? Well, there are many tips on the net, however here are a few that I like gained from personal experience.
- Make the most out of your trips. Instead of filling your tank on a Saturday, do it on the way home. Also, if you can make one trip and do multiple tasks, do it! You’re helping to save CO2 emissions and money. Go to the supermarket or pick your children on the way home from work and do as many chores as you can in a single trip. Don’t brake unnecessarily, as it uses more fuel to get going again.
- Have your car serviced regularly. This keeps your engine performing at its optimum and helps you to burn less fuel.
- Drive smartly. Drive smoothly instead of accelerating too much. Slow driving is better than going too fast. 80km/h (50 mph) or below are the best speeds, because every km/h faster decreases your fuel economy by 1%. Also, turning off the air-con is also good for the environment and gas mileage if at high speed. Open the car windows when going at low speeds to keep air flowing while keeping you cool in Summer.
- Use other kinds of transportation. Whenever possible, ride a bike or use public transportation. These are much cheaper overall compared to driving a private car. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Another benefit is usually a quicker trip, since there’s always traffic clogging up the roads and freeways during peak. These can also be a form of exercise, since riding is also a good fitness regime. Walking to the bus stop or the railway station (if possible) is also beneficial to your health. It saves you having to go to the gym and waste even more money!
- Remove things that cause wind resistance. Some items like bike carriers and roof racks cause wind resistance. When not in use, remove them from the car. Wind resistance increases the amount of fuel a car uses, so as much as possible, keep it at a minimum.
- Make your next car a greener one. There are a few hybrid and an increasing number of electric cars being sold by the motor industry these days. Some smaller cars are even more fuel efficient than hybrids! Although some are more expensive than ordinary cars, the effect it has on our environment should be good enough reason to buy it. Something to think about though: Discarding a car will harm the environment, so does the making of another car, no matter how green it may be.
- Join or start your own carpool. This is for those who live far away from work or school with neighbours or workmates nearby who go to the same destination. You can ask them to join you and vice versa. Believe me, unless they don’t care about the environment and money, they’ll be happy to oblige. Not only are you going green, you also make friends along the way. If you don’t ask, you will never know.
By taking note of the tips above, the effect not only helps the environment, but also adds to your savings. With fuel prices still cutting into the family budget, we all could do something about it. Given that fossil fuels are a finite resource, and that GHG reductions are desperately required, it’s probably a good to start changing behaviours right now. It won’t be as hard to adapt when it becomes a real necessity and prices rise through the roof again.