As the focus on eco-friendly living works its way into the automotive industry, more and more of us are looking for ways to make our driving eco-friendly. Whether you’re wondering if the range of new Renaults are the greenest option, or you’re simply looking to make your current car a more environmentally conscious one, there are a number of ways you can change your driving, maintenance, and even your in-car habits to reduce your carbon footprint. Here, we’ve got a few to help you get started.
As much as it’s possible to improve the condition of your driving, those looking for a new car are in a prime position when it comes to eco-friendly driving. In general, electric cars and hybrids are the best choices for those dedicated to reducing their footprint, but if you’d rather stick to standard fuel, things get a little more complicated.
Diesel cars are arguably more environmentally-friendly in terms of fuel efficiency, but they’re also known to produce more poisonous emissions than petrol. For this reason, diesel cars are typically better for those in the countryside where there may be fewer cars around to build up pollution, while those within urban areas may find that a petrol car is better for air quality.
Eco-friendly driving starts with maintenance. You need to make sure that you’re regularly checking over your car and getting it serviced regularly for the best efficiency. This way, any potential issues can be caught before they become bigger problems and your car will always remain in the best running shape. In a similar way, using the recommended engine oil, as opposed to a generic form, will keep your car running smoothly and in the best shape for longer.
Tyre pressure can also have a drastic effect on how your car runs. Lower pressure leads to the use of more fuel and can damage your tires over time.
Before You Set Off
Before you start your drive, there are several things you can do to reduce emissions too, including reducing the weight within the car and carefully packing up your car to prevent the use of roof racks and boxes where possible. Other ‘preparation’ steps you can take include:
- De-icing your car rather than idling to melt it
- Plan your journey to reduce the chances of getting lost
- Plan to run errands all at once where possible, rather than individually
- Walk short journeys rather than drive
Once you’ve started up the car and got going, your style of driving will be what affects your emissions. If you’re a smooth and gentle driver, you’ve likely already got the best emissions from your car. Accelerating slowly, breaking gently and giving plenty of space in which to do so can help not only reduce emissions but keep your car in the best shape.
Changing gears earlier than usual (where safe to) and sticking to speed limits is also guaranteed to help you reduce emissions, as you can use more fuel in lower gears and when going faster. If you truly want to go further with eco-friendly driving, as well as keep the quality of your battery, you can cut down on the electrics you use in your car, use your air con and heating wisely and more.
Driving in an eco-friendlier manner is surprisingly easy. With a few simple changes to your driving style and some preparation before you leave, you can drive much more safely, smartly and, of course, with a reduced carbon footprint. Where will you begin?