How To Help Your Car Be Earth Day Friendly
What is Earth Day?
Earth Day began in 1970 and is now celebrated worldwide in 192 counties. It’s a day to celebrate the environment and how to reduce our impact on it. On this day, many events are held to raise awareness, demonstrating ways to protect the planet and how we can clean up areas that have been damaged. This day reminds us that it is our reasonability to protect the environment. One way we can help is to focus on the carbon footprint that our vehicles leave on the environment and how we can reduce it. Here are five things you can do to make a difference.
- Keep your vehicle in a healthy state
Vehicle maintenance is key to a healthy, well-performing vehicle. You don’t have to break the bank to keep your vehicle in good shape. Regularly check the air pressure in your tires. You can lose a few miles per gallon when your tires are underinflated. Also, make sure your alignment is good. Not only does it increase tire life, it can save at the pumps. If you have a check engine light on, have it diagnosed and repaired. Emission codes are common and if left unfixed, can cause increased emissions. When your vehicle is not running correctly, take the time to get it repaired. Have the filters changed when they are due. Routine maintenance can improve fuel mileage while reducing pollutants. If you like to work on your vehicle, remember to dispose and recycle properly. Properly handle oil, coolant, and other chemicals. Many parts that are replaced can be recycled like brake rotors and drums.
- Watch you Driving Habits
A heavy foot on the gas pedal and panic braking leads to lower fuel mileage. Slowly accelerate and anticipate braking in a way to increase fuel mileage. Stop speeding. Driving at higher rates of speed requires more fuel. Idling uses a lot of fuel so if you’re going to be sitting in one place for a while, shut the vehicle off. We all like a warm vehicle when we get into it, but it wastes gas and puts unneeded emission into the atmosphere. On hot days, try to fill your gas tank up at night or when it cools down, hot days cause fuel evaporation. Anytime you can save fuel, you are reducing harmful emissions. We can help to control this just with our habits. Also, proper planning and knowing where you are going can save. Getting lost means, you are driving more miles than needed.
- Limit the weight of your vehicle
Empty your vehicle out. The lighter your vehicle is, the better it rides and the less fuel it uses. Clean out your trunk or empty the bed of your truck. It’s that simple. Less weight = less fuel needed.
4. If you’re in the mood for a new vehicle look at a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle.
You might not be entirely sure what a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle is. A Hybrid uses gas in conjunction with batteries to improve fuel mileage. Electric Vehicles do not use gas and are recharged from a charging station or a plug at your home. They are usually more expensive up front but not having to fill the tank up every week can save you some money in the long run. Both types of vehicles help to lower the number of pollutants we put in the atmosphere. Something else to consider is fuel mileage in general. New vehicles have the fuel mileage per gallon (MPG) on the sticker. Be mindful and try to pick a model that gets a higher MPG to save on fuel and emissions. If you cannot decide between two different models, the MPG can help.
- Turn the Air Conditioning off if possible.
Air Conditioning on those hot days brings us comfort and a break from harsh conditions. The cost of that comfort is fuel consumption. Air Conditioning lowers our MPG and increases the load on the engine, resulting in more emissions of pollutants. Try turning the A/C off when you’re on the highway and roll down the windows. The air flow may be adequate to bring some comfort. Remember only to have your air conditioner serviced by a certified professional; the refrigerant inside the system must be reclaimed, as it is damaging to the environment and is known to deplete the ozone layer in the atmosphere.
Celebrating Earth Day is essential in helping save our planet and brings awareness to the cause. There are many things we can do every day to reduce emissions from our vehicles. Making simple changes in our driving habits and how we use our vehicle, can make a big impact. Start driving green on Earth Day and let it become a habit.