Green Driving Tips to Lower your Carbon Footprint
While the invention of motor vehicles has revolutionised personal and commercial transport, they have come with a price. Before vehicles are even road-ready, the production stage leaves a giant carbon footprint comprised of rubber, steel, glass, plastic and paint. In America alone, cars produce over 33% of total air pollution. We believe that green driving must be facilitated and encouraged on an individual and fleet-level in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of our vehicles.
85% of pollution from cars is produced after construction. Disregard for green driving severely lowers gas mileage and drives up fuel consumption, causing an alarming increase in CO2 emissions. It is estimated that the average passenger vehicle emits 4.6 metric tonnes of CO2 annually, with additional emissions of methane and nitrous oxide, both huge contributors to global warming.
How does poor driving contribute to global warming?
The burning of petrol and diesel contributes to the greenhouse effect; the Earth begins to warm up under an ever-thickening blanket of carbon emissions, leading to an increase in global temperatures, and ultimately, climate change. Weather patterns that we have become accustomed to will change drastically; higher rates of evaporation will result in an estimated 1-8% rise in global precipitation and a 20-50cm rise in sea levels by 2100. Habitats and their species will be extremely vulnerable to harsher climates, in fact, biologist Anthony Barnosky suggests that up to 75% of current species could be extinct in a couple of centuries time.
You may be wondering, am I a green driver? What causes excess CO2 emissions? Each act of hard, unnecessary braking and harsh, aggressive acceleration increases fuel consumption by up to half a gallon! Failure to practice green driving leads to higher fuel consumption, ultimately producing more CO2.
The good news is that we can reduce vehicular emissions on an individual level, and we believe that green driving is a key asset in combatting CO2 output. Below, we detail how you can implement our green driving tips and ultimately lower your carbon emissions.
Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle
Buying a nearly new car is a great way to achieve better fuel efficiency and save on costs. New cars are naturally more fuel-efficient with modern technology, and with the fastest rate of depreciation occurring within the first 12 months, you’ll be sure to go easier on your pocket, too!
Heavier vehicles require a lot more power, resulting in higher fuel consumption. Choose a vehicle based on its size, and how it will cater to your needs. If you don’t have a large family or heavy goods to transport, choosing a smaller car will make all the difference in cutting down on carbon emissions, and, again, saving you some cash.
Maintain your car
We don’t want to state the obvious, but make sure you’re looking after your vehicle. Every 6psi your tyre is under-inflated increases fuel consumption by 1%. Regularly check your tyre pressure using the guide commonly found on your driver door or glove compartment, and ensure your tyres are at optimum pressure – you’ll cruise consistently and smoothly. Invest in good quality, synthetic, and environmentally friendly engine oil, making sure it meets your vehicle’s exact specifications. You will optimize engine performance and reduce fuel consumption.
Practice green driving
How you drive your car has a huge impact on fuel efficiency and consumption. Maintain a consistent speed on the road where possible, and adjust your gears (if you drive manual) to the demands of the road and terrain. Steer clear of harsh accelerations and sudden, intense braking – you’ll improve mileage and reduce the risk of vehicular breakdown. Make sure to remove heavy, unnecessary equipment/objects from your car to avoid increased fuel consumption.
Walk, cycle, share!
You can give your car a break and try different modes of transport; walk, cycle to your destination, your body will thank you for it! Alternatively, you can use public transport or carpool with friends and colleagues. Swapping out your car even once a week will greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
We focus on green driving!
While there is work to be done, we at VouchForMe are confident that making changes at an individual level is vital to tackling global warming. Make sure to follow us on social media (Facebook and LinkedIn) to keep up with the discussion, and drive safe!
Monash University, On-Road Evaluation of Intelligent Speed Adaptation, Following Distance Warning and Seatbelt reminder System: Final Results of the TAC SafeCar Project
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