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6 Easy and Practical Ways to Make Yourself
a Greener Car Owner

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It’s a well-known fact that driving is among the largest contributors to climate change, emitting greenhouse gasses that pollute the air and endanger our wildlife and water levels. And while the most logical solution would be to give up motor vehicles altogether, for many people around the globe there’s simply no other option but to drive.

In that case, you might be wondering how to lower your environmental impact and become a greener, more conscious car owner. Here are some easy ways you could achieve just that:

Choose smaller vehicles

When purchasing a vehicle, size is an important aspect many car owners tend to overlook. Apart from being a generally more affordable option, a smaller vehicle is also easy to maintain, simple to navigate through smaller streets, meaning less time in traffic, as well as offering better fuel efficiency and producing less waste once the car’s life is over.

For this reason, it’s recommended to follow the notion of buying small and renting large. This means owning a smaller, more eco-friendly car for your personal, everyday use, and renting a larger vehicle for long car rides, moves, and any other occasional occurrence that requires a bigger, more spacious car.

Opt for greener alternatives

Every new car that’s manufactured produces several tons of CO2, which is why getting the most use out of each vehicle makes the most environmental sense. To that end, it’s recommended to prioritize purchasing used cars, in an effort to run the vehicle for as long as possible, and reduce its overall environmental impact. In case you’re able to afford and find a practical use for them, electric vehicles would be an even better option.

Although it might take a similar amount of carbon for production, electric cars don’t emit any greenhouse gasses when running, making them the most eco-friendly option. With the overall prices dropping, the number of available charging points increasing, and second-hand options steadily entering the market, it’s truly never been easier to invest in an electric car.

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Consider car share solutions

If you don’t use a car every day, or you simply need a vehicle for occasional use, then car share might be the best, most sustainable solution for you. Being a more modern and convenient form of vehicle rental, car sharing options will allow you to effortlessly book a time and vehicle through a handy mobile app, use your phone to unlock and drive your car, and then simply return it to the pick-up location.

By removing the need to buy and maintain vehicles, car sharing can be an affordable option for many, while being quite an eco-friendly alternative as well. As such cars will only be used when truly needed, this will help to ensure fewer vehicles on the road, less frequent use, as well as an extended car lifespan, thus lowering the overall carbon emissions tied to car ownership.

Switch off your air-con

While this aspect might be often overlooked, blasting the air conditioning each time you drive burns through more fuel than you might initially think, increasing your usage by as much as 20%. This is especially true for shorter car trips, as unnecessarily turning your AC on high could lead to mold and bacterial growth in the ventilation system, affecting both your health as well as the lifespan of your vehicle.

For this reason, it’s recommended to control the temperature in your car by rolling down the windows, and only use the air-con system when it’s truly necessary.

Turn off your engine

Even though drivers might be used to keeping their cars running every time they make a shortstop, reach a red light, or encounter any other type of standstill, it would always be recommended to turn your engine off.

There’s truly no practical need to burn fuel when your car is not moving, and switching off the engine will also help you shrink your vehicle’s carbon footprint, thus being a great option for the environment. What’s more, enjoying some peace and quiet in your car for a couple of minutes might be good for your ears and relieving some traffic-related stress as well.

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Attempt to drive less

Once we get used to the practicality and the convenience of owning a vehicle, it can become incredibly easy to use our vehicle too often. From daily commutes to five-minute trips to the grocery store, we use our cars for nearly every transportation need we might have.

However, if there’s one certain way of reducing your carbon footprint, it’s driving less frequently. Instead of using your car for every short trip, the easiest way to reduce your emissions would be to opt for cycling or walking instead.

Over to you

While the most sustainable solution is, of course, not to drive at all, cars are incredibly important for our daily lives and can be entirely unavoidable for many. In that case, the best option would be to become a greener and more conscious car owner by following the eco-friendly tips mentioned above.

About the author: Derek Lotts is an experienced freelance writer and blogger. His main areas of interest are small business, home improvement, and sustainable living. He strongly believes in the power of sharing knowledge and ideas through the mediums of modern technology.


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