Not only can some environmentally conscious driving choices help reduce your carbon footprint, but they can also save you a lot of money.
Change your driving habits
Shifting gears rapidly does not mean you should drive faster! The faster you drive, the more your car encounters air resistance – meaning higher gas consumption. Minimize acceleration and deceleration to avoid wasting gas. You can do this by anticipating traffic patterns that require you to brake often and modifying your speed accordingly. Driving at a smooth and steady pace will not only save you money on gas but also protect your tires and brakes. Leave a little earlier than usual and slow down. Your journey will be more environmentally friendly, safer and more relaxed!
Driving the speed limit is always the best option for fuel efficient and safe driving.
Watch your weight
Does your car sometimes look like a storage facility, with bike racks, boxes and sports equipment weighing you down? Consider removing anything you don’t need to lighten your vehicle. All unnecessary weight makes your car run less efficiently, which in turn means you’re using more gas (gas consumption rises by one to two percent for every 45 kilograms in the trunk).The heavier your vehicle, the more drag is created, which increases the amount of fuel you will use to power it.
Unload any items from your vehicle that you don’t need to reduce weight and help with fuel efficiency.
Regular vehicle maintenance
Servicing your vehicle regularly is going to help increase your fuel economy.
Small steps can be a huge factor in conserving fuel – checking and changing your oil regularly along with keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure can cause up to a 3 percent improvement to your gas mileage.
Make sure to use the right kind of oil for your car and have regular oil changes. Consider synthetic oil, known to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by carbon combustion. Synthetic oil needs to be changed less often, which is another plus for the environment.
Finally, be sure to check your tire pressure: low pressure increases fuel consumption to the point of accounting for the use of an extra 643 milllion litres per year by Canadian vehicles.
A couple of practical tips
Advantages of Driving a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle
To promote their use and encourage greener forms of transportation, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec offer rebates for people buying or leasing electric cars. If you drive 15,000 km per year, you can save 85 per cent on gas alone with an electric car.
There are four types of electric cars on the market today: battery-operated electric vehicles, rechargeable hybrids and hydrogen battery vehicles. Each has specific advantages and all are likely to become more affordable in the coming years.
These small measures can go a long way to make your driving a little more environmentally friendly.
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