Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Your Car

You do not have to purchase a hybrid or electric car in order to reduce your automotive carbon footprint (although it’s ideal if you can!). There are ways you can reduce the carbon footprint of your existing car. Here are some tips.

1. Maintain your car

Keeping your car in top working order makes it work more efficiently, thereby keeping emissions and gas usage at a minimum.
Some things to keep in mind when taking your car in for maintenance are:

  • Tire pressure

    Keeping the tire pressure at the optimum level for your specific car can make a great deal of difference in your gas mileage. Be sure to tell the mechanic or technician to inflate the tires according to the manufacturer’s standards. It should be printed on the inside of one of your car’s doors, and/or in your owner’s manual.

  • Filters

    Clean oil and air filters use a lot less gas than dirty ones, because the engine does not have to work as hard to draw oil or air through clean ones. If the filters are dirty, the engine has to work harder and therefore uses more gas.

  • Oil

    Keeping your oil fresh is important for maintaining your engine performance. A well-lubricated engine is much more efficient.

  • Tune-ups

    This is one of the most basic and significant means of effective car maintenance. Regular tune-ups keep your car running efficiently and will extend the life of your car.

2. Turn it off

When you are waiting in your car, turn off the engine when possible. Turn off the air conditioning when you are driving uphill.

3. Drive carefully

You may not realize it, but how you drive your car can have as much impact as how often you drive it. Accelerating rapidly, speeding, or gunning the motor are all wasteful (and dangerous) activities to engage in. When going uphill, do not try to maintain your exact speed; be willing to slow it down a little and catch up to the speed limit when going down hill. Try to look ahead and anticipate when you will need to stop; slamming on the breaks wastes fuel.

4. Use alternative means of transportation

One of the ways you can responsibly use your car is not to use it! Public transit is inexpensive and far less polluting than cars. You can also make good use your car to transport groups in a car pool.

These are just some of the ways you can reduce carbon footprint of your car. There are benefits for all if we employ some of these techniques; even some insurance companies are offering lower rates to customers who drive their cars less and drive more carefully.