Although driving and eco friendly don\’t seem to match up well, there are things that vehicle owners can do to make their cars more environmentally friendly. Authors John Elkington, Julia Hailes, and Joel Makower offer some great tips in their book The Green Consumer.
To begin with, before leaving on a road trip, be sure the car is well tuned. A car that isn\’t properly tuned can use up to 10% more gasoline. This includes making sure the engine filters are clean.
An easy way to make a car more eco friendly is to be sure to keep the tire pressure up. It is quite common for people to drive around with under-inflated tires. This can decrease gas mileage as much as 5%. Another suggestion is to switch to radial tires. Not only can they improve gas mileage, they generally last longer as well. Finally, when it comes to tires, make sure they are in proper alignment. If the front ones aren\’t, it can waste fuel.
It can be quite tempting to drive at the maximum speed limit allotted when driving down a long stretch of road, particularly if the car is filled with rambunctious children who are continually asking, \”Are we there yet?\” However, this does nothing for your gas mileage. Consider slowing down a bit to make your vehicle more fuel efficient.
When traveling to a heavily populated area, such as the downtown area of a large city, be sure to avoid morning and evening rush hours. At these times, many cars end up sitting and idling. This causes a waste of fuel.
Using an air conditioner can greatly reduce fuel economy. During the hottest part of the day, consider taking a break from driving. This could be a great time for everyone to stretch their legs and have a refreshing beverage and snack. Also, keep an eye out for the outside temperature. Many times people are in such a habit of using air conditioning, that even when temperatures drop, they continue to use it even though they could roll down the windows instead.
Of course the best environmentally friendly way to travel is by use of public transportation. As this isn\’t always possible due to the location of the vacation destination, or due to finances, helping a car to go green will cause it to become a more earth friendly car.
Remember, before leaving on a driving vacation, be sure the car has the proper maintenance performed. This not only is better for the car, it\’s healthier for the environment.