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Cars have a huge environmental impact, from the process of making them, to the release of emissions through using them in daily life.  All of the road trips, work travel, shopping excursions and use of transportation across the world account for between 15 to 20 percent of the globe’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions.  

While there are incredible technological advances being made to reduce emissions caused by transportation, like developing electric vehicles, finding alternatives to conventional gas, and even progressive legislation aimed at reducing emissions, there is still a lot that can be done on an individual level to limit excessive greenhouse gas emissions. Just a few years ago, when the world went into lockdown, major cities had massive decreases in emissions, especially those from transportation, which impacted the air pollution visibly in some of the largest cities in the world, further highlighting the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

There are many simple, and even fun, ways to limit the emissions your vehicle produces.  Help yourself, and the world, breathe easier by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by learning straightforward methods sure to cut down on air pollutants. 

Buy Efficient Vehicles

When purchasing a car try to opt for a more environmentally-conscious option. There are a lot more eco-friendly options for driving nowadays. Here are a few things to think about when buying a car that reduces your carbon footprint.

  • Buy a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle.  These types of vehicles use electricity instead of gas reducing the amount of emissions produced. 
  • Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle. The better the efficiency, the less fuel needed, and the less emissions released!
  • Purchase newer models where possible.  Older cars were made when emissions regulations were more relaxed and tend to have higher emission amounts.

Drive Efficiently

Plan Errands

Try to take care of all of your driving errands at one time.  When possible, plan to drive to the farthest errand first and then work your way towards your end destination. This saves you time, not needing to drive back and forth, and uses less gas, reducing your environmental impact. 

Drive Consciously

Using features like cruise control, or simply paying attention to your speed while driving will have a significant impact on the amount of fuel you use while driving.  Keep a constant speed, drive less quickly, and don’t accelerate and brake frequently to use less fuel while on the road. You’ll be driving safer and saving money on gas, all while doing your part to reduce emissions.

Don’t Use Your Engine When You Don’t Need it

Turning off the engine when you’ll be stationary for at least 20 seconds, aside from when in traffic or at a stop light, it’s a great practice to turn off your engine.  You save more fuel by turning off your car while you wait, and there is no damage done to your engine.  It’s also a good practice not to start your car before you start driving it, especially in the winter, because cars that don’t have a combustion engine actually don’t need to “warm-up.”

Take Care of Your Car

Making sure to get your car regularly maintained keeps your car running at an optimal level, reducing emissions, and saving you lots of money in the long run by preventing the need for more costly repairs down the road.

Regular Vehicle Maintenance

Check with your car’s owner manual to see the specific maintenance and timelines your car will need to be running its best.  Most commonly you’ll want to ensure that:

  • You’re using the recommended oil and changing it at the appropriate times
  • That the tires are rotated, have good tread, and especially that they are inflated to the correct tire pressure.  Having the right tire pressure gives you better gas mileage so you won’t need to fill up on gas as frequently and prevents excessive emissions.

Drive Less

Using your car less prevents emissions from being released in the first place so it’s one of the best ways to cut down on your carbon footprint.  There are also lots of alternatives that can be fun, or have added health benefits for you as well.

Work from Home if You Can

Find out if you can work from home a few days a week or switch to working remotely.  You’ll get the chance to sleep in, miss out on rush hour, and your car can spend less time on the road polluting the air. 

Use Alternative Transportation

Finding more environmentally conscious options for travel can greatly reduce emissions or avoid them altogether.  Some options like, riding a bike, can even be a good time and help with providing gentle exercise to the body.  Some other alternatives would be:

  • Carpooling
  • Using a ridesharing app
  • Taking city transportation like a bus or railway
  • Walking
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