Sunday, September 24, 2023

Not Driving an EV Yet? These 5 Tips Can Make Any Car More Sustainable.


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.

Look for non-toxic screen wash and eco-friendly car wash. Making these small choices makes a big difference to what is released into our ecosystem.

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.

The detailing of your car can also make a huge difference in its appearance. Taking it to professionals will help you achieve your dream design without spending too much time or money attempting to transform your car’s look yourself. 

mercedes-benz eqe
Courtesy Mercedes-Benz

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. 

Be sure to book expert vehicle inspections near you to get your vehicle checked.

Your mechanic may be able to advise you on how to make your vehicle better for the environment. It’s also the best way to prevent damage and avoid breakdowns while your car is on the road.

buying an electric car
Image courtesy Jaguar

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.

Bentley electric car
Courtesy Bentley

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. 

New tires are a simple and inexpensive way to modify your car. The tires of your car should be changed every few years to ensure they offer plenty of grip and safety anyway. Yet, if you wish to transform the sportiness of your car, changing the tires is an easy way to achieve this.

aston martin electric cars
Courtesy Aston Martin

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. 

Related on Ethos:


Social Media ‘Scroll Holes’ Are As Bad for the Planet As They Are for Our Mental Health

There are lots of dark sides to social media, namely the scroll hole. What impact is this having on our mental health and the planet?

Is the World Ready for Edible Packaging?

Sustainability is top of mind for consumers and manufacturers. Edible packaging is one solution. But can it really work?

Volvo Trucks Ramps Up ‘Near Zero’ Emissions Steel for 3 New Electric Trucks

Further solidifying its leadership in the heavy transport sector, Volvo Trucks has announced a partnership with H2 Green Steel on its "near-zero" emissions steel as it ramps up its electric truck production.

It’s Simple: Save Money and the Planet By Reducing Food Waste

Don't let good food go to waste. These apps will help you reduce the amount of food you toss at the tap of a button.

How AI Sizing Helps Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Clothing Returns

Bold Metrics and Pact have announced a partnership to drive sustainability through personalized AI sizing aimed at reducing returns and their carbon footprint. Can it work?