We’re a few years away from EVs dominating the new car market. In the meantime, here’s how to make your car as sustainable as possible.
As with most things, the most sustainable option is to use what we have for as long as possible. Even though combustion engine cars rely on fossil fuels, making a new electric vehicle isn’t exactly easy on the planet. And if your car is EPA-compliant on emissions, and you don’t drive much, there’s good reason to keep your car for as long as possible.
Still, wanting to live more sustainably is noble; recent data found that 77 percent of people are eager to reduce their carbon footprint. Changing your habits and activities to be more eco-friendly is easier than you might think, too.
Making your car more sustainable
First things first: you don’t have to go out and buy a new car. There are plenty of smart choices that you can make to green your driving machine. Start small and be consistent, as this will enable you to stick with the changes, and make a huge difference. Here’s how to get started.
1. Switch your cleaning supplies
Something as small as the products you use to clean your car can make a difference for the environment, and your health. It is an easy and affordable switch to make. First, you can shop for car washing products that use natural ingredients instead of toxic chemicals. You can also find products that clean your car without the need for water, or at least very little of it. In drought-plagued regions like the Southwest, this is a worthy consideration.
Dr. Bronner’s–the liquid soap company with a cult-like following—makes a product called Sal Suds that makes for an excellent carwash soap. It’s made with clean, biodegradable ingredients that will leave your car and the planet squeaky clean.
2. Keep your car well maintained
Your car will run much more efficiently if you keep it well maintained—stick to a regular maintenance schedule to avoid issues. This includes the level of oil in your vehicle, spark plugs and wires, air filters, fuel, computer control system, among others. This will ensure you can reduce your carbon emissions and positively impact the environment.
Even things that seem like they can wait, such as a cracked windscreen, should be addressed quickly. This will ensure you are safe on the road, save you money in the long run, as well as ensure you can retain hot and cool air in your car properly, which reduces the use of air conditioning and heating, as it is bad for the environment. Check out a reputable service provider, such as Magic Windshields.
3. Keep the load light
The heavier the weight of your car, the more fuel you are going to burn, as your car will have to work much harder to handle the weight Avoid storing things in your car unnecessarily, including in your trunk. You should also reduce items you may have attached to your car, such as a roof rack or bike rack. This simple act of removing excess weight will help reduce your fuel consumption.
4. Look after your tires
Looking after your tires is important to keep you safe on the road. It can also impact the efficiency of your vehicle and extend the life of your tires, which will reduce waste. First, you should regularly check your tire pressure and keep it topped up, as if they are under the required limit for your vehicle, it will be using a lot more energy to travel. You should also increase the pressure in your tires if you are going to be transporting extra weight in your vehicle.
You can also shop for second-hand tires, to help reduce waste, as well as fuel-efficient tires. These are specially designed to make vehicles more eco-friendly, as they work by lowering the resistance as you drive. This decreases the energy and fuel you use while you travel, as it produces less friction and makes them last longer.
5. Cut down on air conditioning consumption
Air conditioning is a luxury that most modern vehicles now offer. While it is a nice addition to your journey on a hot day, you should be aware of your consumption. Where possible, see what changes you can make to reduce your consumption. For example, if there is a nice breeze outside, you can make the most of this by cracking a window. You should also try to park in shady spots, to keep the car cool.