Become Green - Green Tips On The Road

It’s no secret that motor vehicles contribute a great deal to pollution, thanks to the burning of fuel and subsequent release of carbon dioxide. However, these volatile emissions can be drastically reduced by improving your car’s overall fuel efficiency. Here is a list of things you can do to reduce your personal greenhouse gas emissions, save some money, and help everyone out by reducing our nation’s dependency on foreign oil.

Purchase Wisely – Being environmentally conscious on the road can start before you even have your vehicle. Before choosing a new or used car, be sure to check out the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide along with the Fuel Economy Guide. Together they are filled with tons of great information about the environmental impact as well as the fuel efficiency of any given vehicle. Every year more environmentally friendly and ultra fuel efficient vehicles are entering the automobile market.

Drive Green – There are several factors that affect the overall fuel economy of your car. To help improve your fuel economy as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions, take it easy on the brakes and the gas pedal. Avoiding abrupt accelerations and minimizing the time your car spends idling are also great ways to improve fuel economy. Also, try to reduce the overall weight of your vehicle by getting rid of unnecessary items inside or in the trunk. The less your car weighs, the less fuel it has to burn to perform effectively. Removable roof racks might weigh more than you think. If you have one that is not in use, you might find yourself increasing your fuel economy by as much as 5% simply by removing it. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of overdrive and cruise control features if your vehicle has them.

Routinely Check Tires – You should regularly check the pressure of your tires. Under-inflated tires wear out much more quickly, and also reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 3%. If you’re unsure of the optimal tire pressure for your tires, you can usually find that information on the driver-side door pillar or on the door of the glove compartment.

Properly Maintain Your Car – It might sound like a no-brainer, but a well-maintained car equals maximum fuel efficiency and minimum greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also obviously far more reliable and substantially safer. Follow the maintenance schedule that came with your vehicle. If you no longer have it, or you purchased a used car that did not come with maintenance information, you can probably find it online or in an auto supply store. Always use the recommended grade for motor oil and regularly check and replace your vehicles air filter. You can also buy non-disposable air filters that you should routinely clean.

Let Your Vehicle Rest – Instead of adding miles to your vehicle everyday, why not consider alternative means of transportation? Using public transportation, carpooling, biking and walking are all great ways to reduce your personal environmental impact. By using one of these other transportation methods just two days out of the week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly two tons per year.

Consider Renewable Fuels – The next time you buy a car you should consider purchasing a Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV). These cutting edge automobiles can be powered with not only gasoline, but also with an environmentally friendly fuel called E85, which is an alternative fuel composed of 85% ethanol that can be used in conjunction with regular gasoline. The Department of Energy offers an Alternative Fueling Station Locator to help you check to see if there is an E85 station in your area. Also, if you own a diesel vehicle, you can check to see if there is a biodiesel fill up station in your area.