As someone who’s passionate about both technologies and the environment, I’ve been interested in the recent developments in the automotive industry for a long time.
The moment I utter the words ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘driving’ in the same sentence, however, I’m usually met with a scoff. I can’t count the number of people who’ve told me that if I care about the environment, I should give up driving.
Even taking into account the recent growth of eco-friendly car manufactures, I’ve always found a widespread and quick switch to green cars unrealistic. It’s going to be a while before these vehicles become widely available.
Still, even without investing in an eco-friendly car, I’ve found a number of ways to increase my fuel efficiency, and cut down my emissions. Below I’ve created a list of tips to help you keep your driving eco-conscious.
Slow down in traffic
One of the first things I did to improve my fuel efficiency was slow down. Like many drivers, I was always impatient in urban areas, which meant I’d always end up having to stop and start in traffic. This was killing my fuel efficiency, as every time I accelerated only to reduce my speed when I hit the brakes, I was wasting my fuel and unnecessarily contributing to carbon emissions. Easing off my gas pedal has both kept my bills down and increased my fuel efficiency.
Pick the right gear
Before I made the switch to eco-driving about a year ago, I was very lazy about changing gears, so much so that I’d wait until the engine started to rumble before changing up (no wonder my fuel bills were so high!). Now I make sure I’m always using the correct gear, and change up as soon as I can. I shift up quickly because at higher gears your car consumes much less fuel as the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain its current speed. I’ve found the sweet spot to be between 2000-2500 revolutions per minute.
Don’t carry unnecessary baggage
Over the past year I’ve found that a great way to decrease my costs has been to stop using the car for storage. Every time I filled my car up with junk, my engine would have to work that much harder in order to run and accelerate. When I started up my car it was an uphill battle just to get off the drive! By cutting the amount of possessions on board I’ve made it noticeably easier to accelerate and run.
Plan your journey
The next step in my quest to become more eco-friendly was to minimize my time travelling. I figured that if I kept my journey times brief, I’d be keeping my carbon footprint down to an absolute minimum. The best way to cut my journey times down has been to plan the route in advance. By knowing the directions, and finding the most efficient route I make sure that I’m not needlessly burning fuel and harming the environment. If you’re bad with maps like me, I’d recommend investing in a GPS that will help to find the fastest route.
Try car sharing
As part of my efforts to help promote eco-friendly driving, I’ve started giving out lifts for coworkers so that we can cut down on our collective emissions. I’ve done it to help others with their commute and get them interested in eco-friendly travelling as well. I’ve even started getting lifts in return! So next time you’re commuting to work, think about asking one of your coworkers if they need a lift, car sharing is a great way to help them and the environment all at once.
Check your tyre inflation
As part of my routine I’ve got into the habit of regularly checking tyre inflation, to make sure they’re in peak condition when I drive. Over or underinflated tyres are a hazard that leads to poor traction. By making sure that my tyres are inflated correctly, I’m cutting down on my fuel consumption and making sure my car’s safe to drive.
My next piece of advice would be to stop speeding – for better safety on the road and healthier environment. I was never a particularly big speeder, but I would often catch myself drifting much higher than necessary. In doing so, I was overworking my engine and creating a lot of unnecessary emissions. Nowadays, if I’m driving in a faster zone I keep my speed between 55-65 mph so that I’m not stressing out the engine.
The Key to Eco-friendly Driving
With the tips I’ve given you above you’ve got more than enough to become an eco-friendly driver. However, despite my passion for eco-friendly driving, sometimes it’s very hard to keep on top of everything. Yet if you stay persistent, you’ll find yourself falling into a routine of maintenance and fuel-efficient driving practices.
Plan your journeys, periodically check your tyres and whilst you’re driving, make sure you’re not driving too fast! Making the change can seem daunting, but if you stick to it, you’ll find eco-friendly driving to be extremely rewarding.