Climate change is happening all around us, and one of the biggest culprits is the vehicles we drive. Car pollution is one of the major causes of global warming. The trouble is, going without a car is nearly impossible for many families.
For those who live in smaller cities or rural areas, a car, truck or SUV is the main mode of transportation. Without it, you can’t get the kids to school, you can’t drive to work, and there’s no way you could get groceries home. Without a car, you would literally be stranded at home.
If getting rid of your vehicle isn’t an option, there are several “greener” things you can do to reduce your family’s impact on the environment while driving.
Not having a car at all will always be the best way to reduce your carbon footprint, but if getting rid of your vehicle isn’t an option, there are things you can do to reduce your family’s impact on the environment while driving.
Get a Hybrid Vehicle
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, one of the best things you can do is get a hybrid. These types of vehicles can use gas, like a traditional vehicle, but they can also use an electric charge. That’s better for the environment because these vehicles don’t rely on fossil fuels as much as traditional gas vehicles.
Hybrid vehicles are offered by nearly every maker and come in every style, shape, and size. Just a few of the top 10 hybrids and their energy-saving features include:
- The GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid can reach a speed of 30 mph on its electric boost.
- The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid can get 23 mpg on the highway.
- The Ford Escape Hybrid SUV can get 31 mpg on the highway.
- The Highlander Hybrid can get 28 mph in the city with space for 7 passengers.
Replace Your Air Filter
When the mechanic asks if you want your air filter changed when they are changing your oil, it’s easy to say no to the extra expense. Especially if you don’t trust the mechanic to tell you the truth about whether you actually need a new air filter or not. However, you could be having a negative impact on the environment driving around with that old filter.
Your air filter takes in nasty particles and impurities in the air. That’s its job! The trouble is, it doesn’t take long to get clogged up. When it does, you could be decreasing your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. That’s 10 percent more fumes you’re emitting into the air, and 10 percent more gas you’re using.
Don’t want to pay the mechanic $30 to change your filter? Learn how to do it yourself!
Use Synthetic Oil
When you do take your car in to have the oil changed, and the mechanic asks you what kind of oil you want to put in your car, opt for synthetic oil if you want to do your part to protect the environment.
Synthetic oil has many benefits over traditional oil that include:
- It lasts longer than traditional oil.
- It doesn’t require additional petroleum.
- Fewer chemicals are released during the burning process.
- It protects your engine from wear.
- Your engine will start more quickly.
Clean out the Car
How much extra stuff are you hauling around in your vehicle? If you’re one of those people who has a trunk full of stuff that you haven’t found the time to get rid of yet, it’s time to find a place to put it.
A heavy car requires more fuel. You can increase your gas mileage when you empty out your car. A mere 100 pounds of extra weight can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 2 percent. Small vehicles can expect to spend 6 extra cents per gallon with an extra 100 pounds of cargo!
Carpool to Work or School
Most days of the week, you aren’t the only one heading to your destination. Why not do your part to take a few vehicles off the road by starting a carpool to work or school?
Ask a few friends at work if they would like to start carpooling. You can also ask other families in the neighborhood if they would like to carpool the kids to school. Another benefit is that you might not have to drive your own vehicle every day!
In a perfect world, we would all get rid of our cars, but many of us rely on them for a variety of reasons. That doesn’t mean you have to feel bad about driving your car. Find ways to go green and you can feel better when you’re behind the wheel.
What are your favorite tips for going green with your vehicle?
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