One of the main contributors to the release of harmful greenhouses gases into our atmosphere is our cars. It is estimated that in many countries around the world, there are more cars than people! Not only does petrol harm the environment, it also puts a dent into our wallets.
Unfortunately, I am one of many people who do not own a hybrid or electric car. I would certainly love to own a green car like this sexy Lightning GT (hey, a girl can dream), but in the meantime, here are seven ways to green your ride AND save money!
Minimise the use of your car
One of the ways to minimise your petrol guzzling car's impact is to minimise the use of your car. Rather than making a series of small errands using your vehicle, plan ahead and make one big trip instead. Wherever you can, try to shop locally. This will also help in minimising the use of your car and save petrol.
Avoid Peak-hour traffic
Its also best to avoid idling the engine by driving in peak-hour traffic whenever possible. However, for those of us who do need to get to work and aren’t able to catch public transport during the busy hours, this may not be so easy! Scout ahead and check if there are any back streets you can travel through or perhaps get to work a little earlier in exchange for leaving earlier? If this doesn't fly with the boss, luckily, there are a few more handy tips to green your ride…
According to the Green Vehicle Guide, petrol engines run more efficiently when running between 1500 to 2500 rpm. With manual vehicles, they suggest to change up a gear as soon as it is practical to do so and before your vehicle reaches 2500 rpm. Drivers of automatic vehicles should ease off of the accelerator slightly once your car gathers momentum, as the automatic transmission will shift up a gear more quickly and smoothly as a result.
Be a Smooooth driver
Another easy way you can green you ride is by driving more smoothly. Not only is it safer for you to keep a safe distance from the car in front of you, it also allows you to anticipate the flow of the traffic, which means you won’t be braking heavily or riding your pedal to the metal to catch with the speed of traffic.
It is also better for the environment for you to travel light. I often find myself an offender of this tip as I travel with a bunch of unnecessary junk in my car! Of course the spare tyre is a safety recommendation, and other than the groceries and your shopping, what else are you carrying around from place to place? By carrying less in your car, you save on petrol, as the more your car carries, the more petrol it uses.
Look after your ride
Service your vehicle and check your tyres regularly. The Green Vehicle Guide suggests that you keep your tyres pressure at the highest possible level as recommended by the tyre’s manufacturers. By doing so you will be extending the life span of your tyres as well as reducing your fuel consumption.
Turn the air-con off
Don’t forget to turn off the air conditioner when it’s not necessary. My boyfriend has his car set to a certain temperature automatically, so no matter how cold or hot it is outside, it’s always on! Wind down your window and get some fresh air, rather than having your air conditioner on when it isn’t necessary. Not only will you make your ride greener, you’ll be saving some cash from the petrol that you save!
With these seven tips in place, you'll be on your way to making your ride greener. If you have any more tips in making your not so eco friendly ride greener, let us all know!