#1Thing: How To Drive Clean and Help the Environment

October 18, 2018

By Lori Melton

Cars are the most popular mode of transportation across the country, with more than 263 million motor vehicles registered in the United States in 2015. Today, an increasing number of automakers and drivers strive to produce and operate vehicles that eliminate or lessen harmful impacts on the environment. Following these suggestions will help eco-conscious motorists drive clean.

Look for Eco-Friendly Cars and Features in the Purchase Process

With most major car manufacturers now adding hybrid, eco-friendly vehicles to their fleets, it's easy to target an environmentally conscious car in the buying process. Do a Google search of vehicles you’re interested in before going to a dealership and check out greenhouse gas and smog ratings as well as a new fuel economy and environment label. The higher these ratings are, the more environmentally safe the vehicle is. Obviously, the fewer greenhouse gases your vehicle emits, the better.

In today’s car market, there are more environmentally-friendly choices than ever before. Hybrid vehicles, which run on a combination of a gasoline-fueled engine and an electric motor ryb via a battery pack, are one popular option. Hybrid examples include the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Prius C, Ford C-Max Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, and the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, just to name a few.

Keep Your Car Serviced and Tires Properly Inflated

It’s important to keep your car and tires well-maintained to preserve engine, transmission and tire longevity. Furthermore, regularly servicing your vehicle and making sure your tires are properly inflated help protect the environment. Failing to change the engine oil, spark plugs and filters at recommended service intervals can lead to your car running “dirty” and potentially releasing harmful pollutants.

Driving on under-inflated tires can make an engine run harder and ultimately burn more gas, which in turn emits more greenhouse gases into the environment. Beyond that, driving with low tire pressure is a safety hazard, as a blowout while driving could possibly cause an accident.

Carpool and Consolidate Errands

Reducing driving time is a fantastic way to do your part to help the environment. The less time a car is on the road, the fewer greenhouse gases it emits. If you commute daily to your job, consider asking co-workers who live near you to carpool/rotate rides to work. Keep a list of weekly and/or monthly errands and appointments stored in your phone, planner, purse or wallet and consolidate them whenever possible to reduce the number of car trips you make each day or week. For instance, go grocery shopping on the same day as a haircut or doctor appointment. Making these sorts of adjustments can reduce the number of cars on the road at any given time and have a huge, positive impact on the environment.